Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sermon Notes...The Truth About Trouble

Text...John 16:33 (New Living Translation) " I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Introduction: Often, our disruption of peace because of problems, are due to our intentional actions. Following Jesus has consequences...
Out of all the places, people and predicaments that causes us trouble, Jesus reminds us that his word is what helps us find peace in him! When we're in trouble, it's not time to franticly run or to be frozen in fear, that the time to stand strong in faith, because peace is in Jesus and no place else!

Transition: Let's cause trouble some trouble, and pay it a visit in it's own context (where it is) and examine it's calling (what it doe's)...

Exposition: If we're to know the truth about trouble, it's necessary for us to listen in on this lesson that Jesus is teaching...

1) The Place of trouble... "Here on earth"
Be warned, that this planet is sinful soil and the atmosphere is polluted with evil. As long as you're here, trouble will be a good friend of yours.
Ephesians 6:12 "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places."
John 12: 31 "The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out."
John 14:30a "I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches."
2) The Promise of Trouble... "you will have"
Trouble is inevitable (you can't avoid it). No amount of strategic planning or good deeds, can keep trouble away from you. It's not even something that you have to look for, it finds you. All mortals have a contract with confusion... Job 1:6-12 One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. 7 “Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan. Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.” 8 Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.” 9 Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. 10 You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! 11 But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!” 12 “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence.
3) The Problem of trouble... "many trials and sorrows"
A trial is a test of the performance, qualities, or suitability of someone or something. Don't give up on something that's not going to be over soon!
Sorrow is a feeling of deep distress caused by loss, disappointment, or other misfortune suffered by oneself or others. But you can defeat it! Philippians 4:13 says "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."

Conclusion: Here's what Jesus had to say about the trouble that's been troubling us, "But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Hear this praise point, trouble doesn't last always, because it's already been defeated!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sermon Notes...The Ministry of the Mirror

Introduction: Modern TV and magazines have fed our obsession with image. We are more concerned with what we portray as opposed to what we are.

Transition: God made us in his image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). The simple implication of that statement is that God intends for us to look and live like him.

The template for the creation of man was God's own self, by God's own hand. God looked in the mirror to find the pattern to make people, and found perfection!

Exposition: The function of the mirror is to...

1) Remind us of reality...Genesis 3 (READ HERE)
-We professionally lie to ourselves, but the mirror forces us to face the truth.
-The truth causes us to hide from the one who can restore the image that we've lost.

3) Ready us for the real world...James 1:22-23 22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
-There's an acceptable look for the house, then there's an outside look that's a different kind of acceptable. The problem has been, that some don't care that they bring the house look into the real world.
 -What the mirror exposes is a command to correct! ~A Walkerism

3) Recover the hidden image of God...2nd Corinthians 3:18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
-God's word is our mirror, that's sometimes harsh but it's always helpful to our recovery of God's purpose for our lives.
-Sometimes the mirror is our cheerleader (primes), but in most cases it's our coach (pushes).

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sermon Notes...Saved People SOW (3 of 3)

Scriptural Text... Luke 10:30-37 (New Living Translation Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. 31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. 33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ 36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. 37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

Introduction: Everybody that's talking about heaven, isn't going there! Saved People do much more than talk about heaven; they live on earth with the quality of a citizen of heaven. Our actions are predicated on the law of sowing (planting) and reaping (harvesting). We believe that if we do good things, that God will be pleased with the way we live and that our well will never run dry.

Transition: This familiar story is told by Jesus, in response to a question from a biblical expert about how to get to heaven. Jesus sets the scene by telling us about a group of people that talked about heaven but wasn't going there; one person who lived like he was already in heaven and was going there and one person who was in need of life-saving ministry.

Exposition: Our text exposes in the least, two powerful principles about how and where Saved People SOW...

1) SOW from our possessions generously
-Ministry done in excellence, requires kind hearts, willing minds and open wallets!
-You shouldn't talk about what could and should be done, if you won't invest in your interest.
-We give to men (innkeeper) for men (victim)...Men in this context isn't masculine but speaks of humanity.

2) SOW into other people selflessly
-The good Samaritan is such a serious sower, that he stopped what he was doing (passion), got off of his beast (common ground), and he sows good seeds by offering a harsh solution (wine that burns) and then a healing salve (oil that soothes).

Conclusion: Who are you sowing into and what ministry is operable because of your investment?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sermon Notes...Saved People SERVE (2 of 3)

Luke 22:21-27 (New Living Translation) “But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me. 22 For it has been determined that the Son of Man must die. But what sorrow awaits the one who betrays him.” 23 The disciples began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing. 24 Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. 25 Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.

Introduction: Humanity is innately geared to serve. Matthew 6:24 says “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money." We've been designed to serve God, yet, we serve other things and other people, with the knowledge that God is jealous (Exodus 20:5).

Transition: Saved People SERVE! We serve with the understanding that it doesn't make us weak, and it's not demeaning in any way. Christian service glorifies God, while growing us up spiritually (from getting to giving) and socially (from church members to family members).

Exposition: Let's unpack this passage, so we can learn how to improve our serve...

The Escalation (verses 21-24) At the Last Supper, Jesus is talking with his disciples. Jesus mentions the presence of his betrayer in the room and the disciples took that topic and allowed it to morph. It shifted from asking questions of each other to arrogance arising, and finally into a full blown argument. They argued over who was the greatest, but greatness is not boastful it's humble (Acts 20:19).

The Intervention (verses 25-27) Apparently a grown up had to get involved, since twelve grown men were acting so childish. Jesus intervenes and explains to them that Christian greatness isn't gauged by status but by service.

The Illustration (verse 27) Jesus is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) and there's no better example to emulate than him. Even Jesus, the son of God and the savior of the world, served! What Jesus understood was that his title meant nothing without his towel (John 13:3-4).

Conclusion: If service ever gets beneath you, then success will never belong to you.