Sunday, May 29, 2016

We Remember


1 Corinthians 11
23 ¶  For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;
24  and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me."
25  In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."
26  For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

Do this in remembrance of Me …

Jesus wanted His death to be remembered. Remembrance is the respect we show for those who willingly served a cause they deemed greater than their own comfort. This memorial gives honor to those who gave their lives for us – it is the sacred duty of all who benefit from the sacrifice that was made.

John 15:13  "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Memorial remembrances are important throughout the Bible. Every Old Testament Feast commemorates something God wants us to remember. Memorials are important to those in heaven and on earth. Each year in America we echo this sentiment by setting aside one hallowed day to remember the brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who donned the uniform of the United States military and laid down their lives for our nation’s decided bests interests. These men and women made possible everything we enjoy in America today.

We continue to give our brightest and our bravest sons and daughters to stand on the front lines in each generation defending the freedoms which we hold so dear. Our thanks and appreciation goes out to all who have served and to those families who supported them and sent them off to fight the battles to win and to defend our freedoms. God bless every veteran – however, today is not Veteran’s Day … Today is Memorial Day!

Memorial Day, which we observe tomorrow, is the time we set aside to commemorate those who died while in military service to the United States of America. It is an important holiday to those of us who have lost family members, friends and comrades in arms. Beginning in 1775 with the American Revolution until today, our proud nation has championed causes of freedom and justice in every generation, offering our bravest and our best in defense of our chosen causes.

To give you an idea of the numbers of our brave men and women from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, who have lost their lives while serving in defense of our freedoms, allow me to show you these figures:

US Casualties of War 1775 – Present
(A total of 67 declared wars, conflicts, and deployments)
(Source: Wikipedia online )
Wounded - 1,531,036
Killed In Action - 1,354,664
Missing In Action - 40,917

Average US Military Deaths per Day 1775 to present:
1775 – Present 241 Years - 89,965 Days
Total US Military Deaths Since 1775 - 1,354,664 Deaths
Average Deaths per Day 1775 – Present - 15+ Deaths per Day

Since 1775 until today, the United States of America has averaged deploying its military forces to fight at least one new war or armed conflict every three and one half years. The need to process war has always been and will always be present in every generation and without the brave men and women of our nation who stand willing and ready to defend our freedoms, the United States of America, along with the values we so dearly hold and the benefits we so greatly enjoy would long ago have ceased to exist.

War has been a big part of our nation’s history and will no doubt continue to be for as long as time remains. Those who imagine a utopian society where war and famine, sickness and disease, poverty and stupidity no longer exist are fooling themselves. Only eternity holds the peace we long for.

I read an article this past week showing that the United States of America has been at war 91% of its life. In the 240 years since July 4th, 1776, our beloved nation has known only 2 decades of peace. Virtually every President of the US has been a wartime president.

Jesus, the ultimate Warrior, gave His life in the greatest war the universe has ever seen. For a moment let us look to the scriptures once again and hear the heart of Jesus concerning one of His last requests … He wanted His death to be remembered!
1 Corinthians 11
24  and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me."

I pray we never forget the agony of death suffered by Jesus as He was:
·        Wounded for our transgressions
·        Bruised for our iniquities
·        Chastised for our peace
·        Beaten with stripes for our healing

25  In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."

Can we ever forget the blood that was spilled on the cruel cross of Calvary? Many men have died on the field of battle fighting against the enemy, slain in conflict and taken in war unable to win the day. However, our Lord Jesus was not without the power to overcome those who stood before Him but He, when no man could take His life from Him, gave His life freely so that He could take our place in death.
·        Death did not claim His life – you did!
·        Jesus gave His body and His blood for you … what can you now give to Him in return?

26  For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

Today Jesus is asking you to:

1.   Eat and Drink
a.   Be a partaker of the Body and the Blood of Christ
b.   Receive Jesus as your personal sacrifice
c.   Don’t allow His death to be in vain
d.   There are three simple steps any person can take today:
                                         i.    Recognize you need a Savior
                                        ii.    Repent – Turn from trying to do it on your own and realize Jesus is the answer and turn your life over to Him.
                                      iii.    Receive Jesus into your heart by faith
2.   Proclaim the Lord’s death til He comes
a.   Every time you identify with Jesus as your Lord and Savior you proclaim your faith in His sacrifice.
b.   Depending on His broken body and His shed blood is a public profession of your trust in God.
c.   This is the communion we have with Christ …

Have you partaken of the Body and the Blood of Jesus?

Jesus wants His death to be remembered. How will you memorialize His sacrifice for your life? I challenge you to live each day as a memorial to the One Who gave His all for your eternal freedom.

And, don’t forget to remember those fallen soldiers of our great nation tomorrow. God bless their memory and God bless America!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Heart of God


Luke 4 NKJV
18  "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD."
20  Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
21  And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

This passage holds a perfect picture of God’s Plan:
·        Past – Connecting the prophecy of Isaiah 61 to Christ
·        Present – Revealing the ministry on which Jesus was to immediately embark. Jesus was about to “show us the Father” at work in everyday life. (John 1:18)
·        Future – A prophetic glimpse of the finished work of Messiah:
o   The symbolic closing of the book …
o   The symbolic seating of the Author and the Finisher of our faith. (Daniel 7:9; Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 12:2; Psalms 110:1)
o   All eyes now and from henceforth focused on the Messiah …
o   “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Jesus truly is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) Jesus declared, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21), What a wondrous God we serve, (Psalms 86:10). He is God, He Who knows the end from the beginning, (Isaiah 46:10), He hides Truth in plain sight, (Luke 10:21), … He Who works all things together, (Romans 8:28), to form His will, (Ephesians 1:11), and brings hidden things to light, (1 Corinthians 4:5). Our God is an awesome God, (Deuteronomy 10:17).

The first sermon Jesus preached connected the past, present and future:

·        Jesus revealed The Heart of God
o   Preach the Gospel to the poor
§  God so loves the world …
§  Jesus came in the flesh …
§  Jesus lived a sinless life …
§  Jesus died a sacrificial death thus atoning, (fully paying), for the sins of all mankind making forgiveness and salvation possible by reconciling us once again unto God.
§  Jesus rose from the grave on the 3rd day - victorious over satan, sin, death, hell and the grave and He holds the keys of death, hell and eternity.
§  Jesus ascended to heaven - where He sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for the saints.
§  Jesus is coming again - to gather the Church unto Himself and rule as King of Kings and Lord of Lords upon the earth.
§  At the appointed time of the Father all mankind will be gathered to the final judgment.
§  There shall be a new heaven and a new earth for the heavens and earth we know shall pass away and melt with a fervent heat.
§  Every person ever born on earth was born into sin and must be born again to become a new creation in Christ and enter the eternal Kingdom of God.
§  We are saved by the grace of God through our faith in Jesus. This salvation is a gift of God, not of works, so that no man can boast.
§  Those who believe in God and accept Jesus, His Son, as their personal Savior, will be saved and will live eternally with the family of God forever and ever.
§  This is the Good News!

This is the framework into which other critical events spoken of by the prophets of old and written by the Apostle John in his revelation fit without fail. Jesus came from heaven to proclaim this Gospel! This is the same Gospel of Jesus Christ which we preach today. Jesus continued His sermon by declaring that the heart of His Father:

o   To heal the brokenhearted

o   To proclaim freedom for the captives
o   Recovery of sight to the blind
o   To liberate the oppressed
o   To proclaim the year of Jubilee

This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a Today Word! Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever! His will, word and witness never changes. These blessings are ours today without question and without consideration as to what you have done, where you have been or how you got here. Today is your opportunity to leave here changed to be a little more like Jesus. This Gospel we preach is the power of God which leads men and women, boys and girls to the salvation which can only be found in Him.

Please, please, I beg you, (2 Corinthians 5:20), as one who was held captive by sin, lost in a world without Christ and headed for torment in the life to come …
1.   Come to Jesus and begin a new life today!
2.   Open your mind to what your heart is telling you right now.
3.   Say to God:
o   “I believe in Jesus!”
o   “I receive Him as my Lord and my Savior!”
o   “I turn my life over to You, Heavenly Father!”
o   “Lead me with Your Holy Word and fill me with Your Holy Spirit!”
o   “Today I accept Your Will for my life!”
§  “I take charge of my thought life, my words, and my actions.”
§  “I will not allow unchallenged sin or selfishness to rule in my life.”
§  “I will do my best to live my life pleasing to You, Father God.”
§  “Where I fail, I will repent, recover, and recommit myself to follow Christ and become more like Him.”
§  “Help me, O Lord, to be a light and an encouragement to others.”
o   “Thank you Father; Thank you Jesus; and Thank you Holy Spirit.

§  Amen!”

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Faithful Stewards


1 Corinthians 4:2  Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

1 Peter 1
1 ¶  Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2  elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
3 ¶  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4  to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
5  who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 ¶  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,

1 Peter 4
7 ¶  But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.
8  And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins."
9  Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
10  As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11  If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

We have received the great gift of salvation by God’s grace through our faith. We have been born again to a living hope that we might receive an inheritance which is incorruptible and undefiled which does not fade away reserved and preserved for us in heaven.

At the present we may be grieved by various trials but we cannot allow those things to overshadow the responsibilities we have as stewards of the manifold grace of God. We must be:
·        Serious in our prayers
·        Fervent in our love
·        Hospitable without grumbling
·        Not giving our own opinion
·        Serving by what God supplies

Both the Apostle Paul and the Apostle Peter encouraged Born Again Believers to be faithful stewards of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The primary work of a steward of the Gospel is threefold.

Faithful Stewards of the Manifold Grace of God
1.   Preserve the Word
Protect and Guard the Word (from perversion Galatians 1)

2.   Multiply the Word
    Increase the Word in your own life, family and community (Luke 12 & Luke 19)

3.   Send the Word to Others
This is the sacred responsibility given to us by Christ which we know as the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)

My dear brothers and sisters let us be:
·        Serious in our prayers
·        Fervent in love
·        Hospitable without grumbling
·        Not given to our own opinions

·        Serving only by the grace of God’s 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016



Tonight we wish to honor the seniors in our Church who will soon be graduating from High Schools within our communities and bring recognition to their accomplishments thus far. Completing High School and earning a degree is a milestone in life coveted by everyone. We are blessed in the United States of America to have a system of free and equal education for each student regardless of race, color, gender, economic status, religious persuasion or political affiliation. This is not so in much of the world but in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave it has been established as a basic human right and protected by the Constitution of this great nation.

These are the benefits of living in a country that believes in the freedom and liberty of its citizens and stands ready to defend those freedoms at all costs. The American dream of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness is still alive and well. Thank God for the opportunities we and our children have to chase the dream. It was for these whom we honor tonight that many of our bravest, brightest and best have stood the ground, lifted the flag and given their all. Thanks be to God our Father and to His Son Jesus of Nazareth. God bless America.

In these next few moments I hope to instill in you a truth which will serve to strengthen and secure you for the journey ahead. You are about to embark on the greatest adventure of your life thus far. And, as you launch out into the world to find your path and conquer your mountain, you will need an advantage in life which I will give you here tonight. Allow me to begin by reading a passage from the Bible and sharing how you can apply the life changing message it reveals to the new journey on which you are about embark.

This story begins in about the year 800BC in the area which is now governed by the Palestinian people in northern Israel. The location was the ancient city of Dothan. A prophet named Elisha lived there it seemed that Elisha had made the king of a neighboring country angry. Every time the King of Syria wanted to ambush or attack the King of Israel Elisha the prophet would warn the King of Israel and of course the King of Israel would escape unharmed.

It became such a frustration that the King of Syria decided he would simply get rid of the prophet Elisha. The Syrian army was dispatched and succeeded in surrounding Elisha’s house in Dothan. When Elisha’s servant woke up that morning, all he could see was the enemy. The servant was so afraid and felt all was lost but yet Elisha the prophet remained remarkably calm and secure. This puzzled the servant.

Why was there such a difference in the way these two men reacted? Why was one scared to death and the other completely at peace? They were both standing right in the middle of an ambush and were both surrounded and were both aware of the Syrian Army’s intent. The difference in these two men however was their perspective.

Each of these two men, the prophet and his servant, were focused on different truths. They each saw the same enemy but only one of them saw the help that was standing ready to intervene. The servant was completely focused on those who wanted to do them harm while Elisha was focused on the One who wanted to protect them and deliver them and save them.

I submit to you this evening that trouble, tests and trials will come to challenge each person at some point in life … When it does, our perspective can and will make the defining difference.

2 Kings 6
15  And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?"
16  So Elisha answered his servant, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them."
17  And Elisha prayed, and said, "LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

The prophet Elisha was facing the same trouble as was his servant however, Elisha had a different focus, he saw the potential greater than the problem, Elisha had a different perspective – He saw his situation from God’s point of view. All of the sudden, impossibilities became possible.

When the servant, who had been so afraid, began to see God’s willingness and ability standing ready to intervene, all of his fear went away. Our confidence is often determined by our perspective. The Bible tells another  story of 12 spies who went into the promise land and brought back a report to Moses. They were all exposed to the same things but 10 of the spies returned with a negative perspective while only 2 maintained a positive perspective. The Ten only saw the power of the enemies they would face but the 2, Joshua and Caleb, kept their focus on God’s willingness and ability to intervene in their battles. One group had no confidence and the other had great confidence … Perspective!

I can well understand this because without including God in our lives and problems I too would have a less than confident feeling about the future. However, when we do face a problem, a test, trial or trouble, turning to God and turning that problem over to Him will always result in His willingness to get involved. This is the story of the Bible and the hope that is found in Jesus Christ.

God is so willing to help fix the problems we face and to destroy the plans of our enemies that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to give each one of us a personal chance to invite and include Him in our lives. In situations where we once had no hope, we now have great hope. In circumstances where there seemed to be no peaceful answer, we now have access to the Prince of Peace. For those times when we feel alone or don’t know what to do, Jesus said that He will never leave us or forsake us. What will you choose to focus on in the trying times of life? Your perspective will make a difference. Turning to Jesus in times of trouble and turning that trouble over to Him will help you to focus on God’s potential instead of your problem.

Turn to Jesus and turn your life over to Him in every situation. Begin to see things from His perspective. Instead of living in fear, step into faith. There is a blessing in everything – only sometimes you can’t see it when looking at it only from earth’s perspective. Give God a chance … 1.) Pray – Talk to God; 2.) Listen for Instructions; and 3.) Obey – Just do what He says. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mother’s Day


Quotes for Mother’s Day

A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest. ~Irish Proverb

Parents often talk about the younger generation as if they didn't have anything to do with it. ~ (Haim Ginott)

There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it. ~Chinese Proverb

A mother understands what a child does not say.

One ounce of mother is worth a ton of priests. ~ (Spanish Proverb)

God could not be everywhere so He made mothers. (Jewish Proverb quoted by Rudyard Kipling)

No one makes it to life without a mother. (rlh)

The one who brought you to life is equipped to help you through life. (rlh)

Every daughter’s father is but some mother’s son. (rlh)

Each time a child comes into this world, a mother is born. (rlh)

The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world. (William Wallace)

Key Scripture: Psalms 113:9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD. (KJV)

I. Judges 5:6 In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways.
A. In the days of Shamgar & Jael
1. Shamgar killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad ...
> Judges 3:31 And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.
2. Jael, she went softly and drove a tent peg into Sisera’s head
> Judges 4:21 Then Jael Heber’s wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.

Note: (Even though in those days there were mighty men and women of God … Judges 5:6 tells us that:)

B. The right ways were abandoned (good paths --- highways)

C. People walked a hard, dark and dangerous path (byways)

II. Judges 5:7  Village life ceased …
A. Village Life Ceased?
1. No community
2. No family, friends or social life
3. Everyone afraid of everyone else
4. No common bond with others

B. Judges 5:7  Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel, Until I, Deborah, arose, Arose a mother in Israel.

Until … when it gets bad enough for mama to get up, something is going to change.

Conversely, when mothers do not arise, things often deteriorate.

Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself  will his mother to shame.

We can’t just let things go … mothering is a job that has to be done on purpose and with purpose!

What Happens When A Mother’s Job Goes Undone?

III. Judges 5:8 They chose new gods; Then there was war in the gates; Not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel.
A. On top of what we have already read:
1. v.6: People abandon the right way for the wrong way
2. v.7: Family, community will become dysfunctional
B. When there are no mothers making their voice & demands heard:
3. v.8: People will choose new gods
4. v.8: Fussing, fighting and all out war comes into the house
5. v.8: People grow defenseless without a Mother’s protection, or perhaps without a mother to protect.

IV. Mothers We Need You … Arise … Take Your Place

Note: When God needs a job done, a child is born … however, God entrust these children to Mothers!

Remember, Mary gave her Firstborn & Moses’ Mother gave her son, but they raised them first!

Every man and woman is nothing more than some mother’s child.

Mothers, we need you to rise up and:

A. Teach us the straight ways of life
1. not to lie, cheat, steal, lose our tempers, be dishonest
2. to respect our elders and honor our parents
3. to keep our commitments and pay our just and honest debts
4. to make our beds, cook our meals, clean our kitchens and go to work.
B. Build our family and give us community relationships
1. you have the grace for intimacy - for kononia - relationship
2. you have the pattern for family imprinted in your lives
3. if you don’t show us family, who will?
C. Introduce us to the Living God
1. Don’t leave us to our own imaginations
2. Don’t leave us to fashion our own gods
D. Keep our homes free of fussing, fighting & all out war
1. make us a peaceful people
2. teach us to value others
E. Arm us against our enemies
1. Teach us to both defend ourselves and conquer our enemies
2. Defense & Offense with: (Ephesians 6:16-18)
* The Shield of Faith
* The Sword of the Spirit
* The Arm of Prayer

Mothers Arise!!!

Lets Pray For Mothers & Women To Be Mothers
Biological Mothers
Spiritual Mothers
Mothers who rise to the day

Happy Mother’s Day!