Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sunday Circles - Life Lessons

Sunday Circles
        Building Your Family With Friends
Church On The Rock

Hymn: I’ll Fly Away
Memory Verse: Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Lesson: Life Lessons
Character: David

                Pastor Ron’s remarks and intro of first principle

First Principle: Both God and man know success is more than a one step process.
Scripture Reference: Psalms 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.
The seven days of creation teach us principles of logical progression. For example, grass was grown before cows were created.
Success is more than a one step process.
Question: In what area of life has this principle applied to you?
Follow Up Question: What is your next step?
Conclusion: Life is a journey that includes many steps which demand we build on the last one and take the next one. Our lives have an expected and productive order. From first grade to graduation, each step prepares us for the next one. When we stop stepping we stop growing. Even death is a step which life should have prepared us to take. There’s a next step in every area of life. Take a deep breath, don’t worry, you’re not there yet and the next step is not always up to you.

Pastor Ron’s remarks and intro of second principle

Second Principle: Bad decisions, wrong decisions, and costly mistakes are a part of the process and not always the problem.
Scripture Reference:  Psalms 51:12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
David, like many other Bible characters, made a bad decision which created a costly mistake.
The Apostle Peter cursed and denied knowing Jesus at his most critical hour.
At some point, Rahab decided to become a prostitute.
The Apostle Paul persecuted and imprisoned Christians as his committed life’s work.
All of these, however, have one more thing in common. They turned their failures over to God and where sin did abound, grace did much more abound.
Bad decisions aren’t always sin but they can still be costly.
Question: How can tests, trials, temptations, and tribulation work for us?   
Follow Up Question: What are some things you have learned from your mistakes?
Conclusion: The Bible says no one is perfect save Christ. Our imperfections lend us to making bad decisions, wrong decisions, and, at times, even costly mistakes. Life, however, does not have to end with your last worst decision. God will forgive you, secure you, restore you, and bring you to victory if you will but place your life in His hands. God is not interested in punishing us and neither should we punish ourselves. Life is a process, give your life to God.

Pastor Ron’s remarks and intro of third principle

Third Principle: What you are going through is not punishment for your past but positioning for your future.
Scripture Reference:  David running from Saul
David hid from Saul for many years, yet he remained loyal to both God and the king.
The hardships David faced prepared and positioned him for the future God had already designed.
Question: What are some things you can do to encourage yourself when going through difficult times?
Follow Up Question: How can we encourage others in their difficult times?
Conclusion: How we act under pressure reveals who we are and what we are made of. It has been said that a diamond is nothing more than an old piece of coal that made good under pressure. Are the pressures of life making you or breaking you? God is getting you ready for that which He already has ready for you.

Pastor Ron’s closing remarks
·        Connect Cards; Offering and Prayer
·        Memory Verse

·        Pre-Praise & Worship Prayer will be hosted by one of our Elders, John and Fronnie LeBlanc in the Sanctuary Studio. Worship will begin in just a few minutes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

2 Timothy Continued


Once again, the year is near AD67, evil Nero is the Emperor of Rome, Paul is believed to be about 62 years old and at the end of his second imprisonment in Rome. Now after 35 years of faithful ministry to Christ he is ready to die. This great Apostle to the Gentiles, forsaken by almost all of his disciples who were ashamed of his chains, has one last letter he wants to write so that he might give instructions to his spiritual son, Timothy.

At this time in history the Church is under tremendous attack from the government and Believers are being persecuted, tortured and executed for nothing more than a mad man’s pleasure. Despite the hardships and the impending martyrdom, Paul keeps his focus and stays on point with the message God had entrusted to him. Everything else pales when compared to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul had once determined that he would know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified for the sins of the world.

Now Paul’s challenge from the Holy Spirit is to leave a last will and testament, if you please, from the heart of God through this vessel of honor. Thus we continue our study of 2 Timothy by turning to:

2 Timothy 4
3 For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

2 Timothy 4 NLT
5 But you should keep a clear mind in every situation.

Be watchful in all things”; “Keep a clear mind in every situation” – this is the admonition given by the Apostle Paul which has become the duty of every Believer without regard to estate, station, age, stage, calling or burden of life.

When Paul encouraged Timothy to be watchful in all things he was basically addressing two major concerns:

  1. Error of Doctrine
  2. Sin against God

Paul encouraged Timothy to be watchful so as not to fall into error concerning the set doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Church. In that day, and perhaps even more so in our day, the doctrines of the Gospel of Christ have come under attack in efforts to minimize their importance and thereby rob the Church of their preeminence and power.

There is power in the Word of God. However: The Word of God is only the Word of God when it is the Word of God.

Therefore we are admonished to guard against: Error of Doctrine

In Paul’s day and even in the year 2014 there are still some “Non-Negotiable Absolutes” when it comes to the doctrines of the pure Gospel of Christ. We can ill afford to waiver or stray from these Fundamental Truths:

  • Jesus of Nazareth was, is and will ever be the only begotten Son of Almighty God.
  • He was with the Father from the beginning.
  • He was born of a virgin in the town of Bethlehem.
  • He lived a sinless life.
  • He died an atoning death.
  • His sacrifice paid the eternal price for sin and redeemed all mankind.
  • Jesus rose again the 3rd day victorious over sin, death, hell and the grave.
  • 40 days later He ascended to the right hand of the Father.
  • Jesus will come again at the command of the Father to gather His Bride and will ultimately destroy all evil and rule the earth in righteousness.
  • Every person is born into sin and therefore must be born again to inherit a sinless eternal life.
  • If anyone will accept this Gospel as the truth and call upon the name of the Lord they shall be saved.
  • It is the duty of every Born Again Believer to let their light shine before others, to stay free from doctrinal errors and from sin against God.
  • This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and these doctrines are absolute.

Paul told Timothy to “watch in all things” so as to not be easily taken with false doctrine or the daily temptations to sin. Paul continues to exhort us all to:

2 Timothy 4:5 But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. (NLT)

The ministry God has given you” is a phrase that some imagine does not strictly apply to them. In the western religious culture some consider “the ministry” to be the responsibility of what they might call “full-time” or otherwise licensed and/or ordained members of the clergy. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Every Born Again Believer is called to be a witness wherever life finds them. At home, at work, in the exercise of daily life with friends, family and those whom we meet along the way, we are all called to work at telling others the Good News. Where we work and what we do are but opportunities given to us by God to infiltrate this world and let our light so shine before men that they might see that light and glorify the Name of Jesus.

You have a ministry! Fully carry out that ministry God has given you and serve the Lord with gladness. For the time will come when others will not endure sound doctrine but give way to fables and myths and all manner of falsehoods. Be careful to hold fast to the doctrines of Christ and keep yourselves free from the burdens of sin.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Jonah, The Series Continues


Jonah 3
1 ¶  Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying,
2  "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you."
3  So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent.
·        What are you getting up to do?

Hebrews 5:8 Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.

Jonah 3
4  And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!"
5 ¶  So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.
6  Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes.
7  And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water.
8  But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.
·        It is a good sign when men are the better for what they suffer …

Jonah 3
9  Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?

·        There is a place where we stand with God that is somewhere between hope and fear, a place of reverence where we see our mortality and understand that He alone is God and we are not.
·        In this place we do all that is obliged us and turn our humble hearts over to the good conscious of God.
·        When we see God we fall at His feet and cast our crowns before Him.

Jonah 3
10  Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.

Some imagine God changed … God does not change, not in the sense of altering His Word, His Will or His Way.
·        He is the same yesterday, today and forever … (Hebrews 13:8)
·        Malachi 3:6  I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.

Jeremiah 18 NLT
7  If I announce that a certain nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down, and destroyed,
8  but then that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned.
9  And if I announce that I will plant and build up a certain nation or kingdom,
10  but then that nation turns to evil and refuses to obey me, I will not bless it as I said I would.
11 ¶  “Therefore, Jeremiah, go and warn all Judah and Jerusalem. Say to them, ‘This is what the LORD says: I am planning disaster for you instead of good. So turn from your evil ways, each of you, and do what is right.’ ”
12  But the people replied, “Don’t waste your breath. We will continue to live as we want to, stubbornly following our own evil desires.”
13  So this is what the LORD says: “Has anyone ever heard of such a thing,     even among the pagan nations? My virgin daughter Israel     has done something terrible!

·        Fasting and prayer does not change God, it changes us
·        A changed us changes God

·        But only in the sense that it releases Him to do His word and will, His way!

Sunday Circles - Life Lessons

Sunday Circles
        Building Your Family With Friends
Church On The Rock

Hymn: I’ll Fly Away
Memory Verse: Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Lesson: Life Lessons

Pastor Ron’s remarks and intro of first principle

First Principle: What you say will be said.  
Scripture Reference: Ecclesiastes 10:20 Do not curse the king, even in your thought; Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, And a bird in flight may tell the matter.
People talk … everyone talks to someone.
We must be careful to not say things we don’t want repeated.
Question: How would it change your conversation if you knew that everything you said was going to be repeated to others?
People don’t always repeat things correctly.
Voice inflections and emphasis on certain words can alter the meaning.
Perhaps you have been misquoted or correctly quoted and yet misunderstood.
Follow Up Question: How should we react when we hear that someone else has said something negative about us?
Conclusion: Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 Don’t eavesdrop on others—you may hear your servant curse you. For you know how often you yourself have cursed others.

Pastor Ron’s remarks and intro of second principle

Second Principle: What you do will be found out.  
Scripture Reference:  Luke 12:2-3 For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
Question: What are some things people do and try to hide?   
Follow Up Question: What can we do to ensure that we live our lives free from the fear of being found out?
Conclusion: When we consider the scandals which have rocked the world and destroyed people’s lives through the years, “we ask the question why did they do it.” Without regard as to why, the fact remains that if they had known they would have been found out, most likely they would not have done it. The scriptures say that some people’s sin is revealed on earth while others, hidden on earth, are made known later. But, suffice it to say, what you do runs a high probability of being found out. 

Pastor Ron’s remarks and intro of third principle

Third Principle: What you believe will be tested.   
Scripture Reference:  Mark 4:17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.
Temptations, tests, and trials come to us in efforts to discount and discredit the word of God.
Every time we learn something, we leave that moment headed for a test.
Question: Can you share a time when what you believed was tested?
Sometimes what we believe fails us because we were are believing the truth.
The truth, however, never fails.
Follow Up Question: What is the truth?
Conclusion: The Bible shares many truths concerning both our eternal life and the life we now live on earth. When we hear God’s Word, it acts like a seed and if cultivated in our heart and mind it will produce a harvest as promised. The devil and this world’s system want to rob us of the seeds sown in our lives. For this reason, when we hear the Word of God temptation comes for that word’s sake.

Pastor Ron’s closing remarks (Ecc 7:21, 22)
·        Connect Cards; Offering and Prayer
·        Memory Verse

·        Pre-Praise & Worship Prayer will be hosted by one of our Elders, John and Fronnie LeBlanc in the Sanctuary Studio. Worship will begin in just a few minutes.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Jonah 2, The Sequel


Jonah 2 NKJV
1 ¶ Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish’s belly.
2 And he said: "I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction, And He answered me. "Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice.
3 For You cast me into the deep …

Humanity has a propensity to blame God and others for our troubles. However, in the case of Jonah, and all humanity for that sake:

There is a difference between persecution and repercussion.

Some things we go through we cause and some things come to us seemingly unfair … however, we must remember, humanity sinned against God in the Garden of Eden and invited sin, sickness, poverty and pain into the earth … God is the one dealing with it but He is not the one who caused it.

Jonah’s dilemma was a reasonable repercussion … a simple consequence for his actions and his attitude. Nonetheless, God loved Jonah and God loved the people of Nineveh. This wasn’t over yet …

  • The Book of Jonah is about the unfailing mercies of God.
  • We will never catch God unprepared for what we are about to do.

Jonah 2
4 Then I said, ’I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’

7 "When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple.

8 "Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy.

9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD."

Five Lessons We Learn From Jonah 2

  1. Has it come to this?
    • Prayer is often the choice of those with no other options.
  2. Worthless idols are worthless
  3. Being thankful can seem like a sacrifice …
    • Be thankful anyway!
  4. Pay thy vow
    • If I could, I would … but even that depends on God
  5. Salvation is of the Lord

Jonah 2:10 So the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

At the end of Chapter 1 Jonah went into the fish and down to the bottom of the ocean. At the end of Chapter 2 Jonah came up and out of the fish’s belly and was set on solid ground. However, whether in despair or on solid ground, it was not the circumstances surrounding Jonah that had him bound but rather what was on the inside of him.

Jonah, in the fish or out, at the bottom of the sea or on solid ground, doing well or doing poorly, running or praying … Jonah was not ok … Jonah had no peace with God.

Jonah found no peace because he struggled with God’s will. Jonah simply had not given his heart to God. Jonah wrongly imagined that life was all about him.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014



2 Timothy 3
10 ¶  But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,
11  persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra — what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Timothy well knew and carefully followed Paul’s:

·        Doctrine   
·        Manner of Life
·        Purpose
·        Faith
·        Longsuffering
·        Love
·        Perseverance
·        Persecutions
·        Afflictions


Acts 13
14 ¶  But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down.

44  On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.
45  But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.
46 … we turn to the Gentiles.
47  "For so the Lord has commanded us: ’I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’"

50  But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.
51  But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium.


Acts 14
1 ¶  Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed.
2  But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.

4  But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
5  And when a violent attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone them,
6  they became aware of it and fled to Lystra …


Acts 14
8 ¶  And in Lystra …

17  "Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."
18  And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them.

19 ¶  Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.

20  However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.


2 Timothy 3
11 … And out of them all the Lord delivered me.

12  Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

 14  But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Jonah, The Series


Chapter 1
v1  The Word of the LORD came …
v2  Go … Two thirds of God is go
·        Sent to cry out against
·        These were not idle threats but also not God’s intent to harm
·        Thank God He warns concerning impending judgment
v3  Jonah resisted and rebel against the will of God – he didn’t agree
·        Like Jonah, we often pay for, (fund), our sin/rebellion
·        Instead of arising to the call of God, Jonah went down into the ship and later down farther to the depths of the ocean
·        Imagined he could remove himself from God’s presence by going down
v4   The LORD sent out a great wind
·        God’s intent was never to destroy the ship or kill Jonah, but it did seem like that to many
v5  Fear drove the sailors do everything they could to save themselves
·        Meanwhile Jonah was sound asleep in the middle of the storm
·        Amazing to note that people, even those close to God, often experience a great and false sense of peace and security right in the midst of their rebellion. There has to be a better indicator than simply how we feel … or what we think is best. Oh, it’s the Word isn’t it …
v6  How can you sleep in a time like this
·        Arise! – Jonah received the very same word from the captain that he had heard from the Lord. (get up, get engaged, stand, get involved)
·        There was something strange, unusual and determined about this particular storm …
v7  The sailors felt remedy could only be found in a spiritual approach
·        God, who was superintending these events, overrode the pagan process of divination and the lot fell on Jonah
v8  Maybe these questions would have been better asked before they left
v9 Jonah begins his story
v10  Jonah told them his whole story … the simply asked: Why?
v11  What can we do … to you !!! ???  A reasonable question:
·        They knew somebody in this equation (in this boat) in this dilemma is going to have to please and appease God
·        Is there anything we can do to you to get you to please God? Jonah replied, nope, not even if you threw me overboard … I’d rather die than admit I was wrong. God’s not right on this one …
·        What to do to make God happy and we will because evidently things aren’t going to get any better till somebody starts pleasing God
v12  One of the reasons why Jonah could sleep so soundly
·        People in rebellion usually imagine they have little to lose and they are willing to risk everything that belongs to somebody else
·        He didn’t fear retribution or death, he had a false sense of security
·        The only way you are going to have any peace in this boat is for me to get out of it … but I’m not getting out on my own …
·        You’re gonna have to throw me out!
v13  Good men don’t like to hurt people or to imagine the worst
·        Those sailors tried everything but nothing was working
·        Jonah knew he was the problem, and he was honest, but honestly he didn’t care anything for those men, their families, their stuff or their lives. Jonah confessed but wouldn’t change
·        Jonah would have sat there, or slept there, and let the boat sink and the men perish.
·        Jonah was a gutless wonder – an honest man, but gutless …
v14  Sometimes we recognize the fact that God has left us no choice
v15  So they got rid of Jonah by force
·        It is reasonable to at least consider that maybe Jonah didn’t really think those good ole boys would do it …
·        After all, throwing people off a boat, even in the middle of a storm, is against the law … everybody’s law
·        This was a fare paying passenger who had definite maritime rights, one of which is not to be thrown overboard by the crew.
·        Jonah tells the story later but do you think anybody else ever told that story? Surely they concocted some other story of what happened and how one of their passengers strangely went missing at sea …
·        at any rate … the storm ceased
v16  Those sailors converted, offered a sacrifice to God and made promises

v17  You will never catch God unprepared for what you will do or are doing