Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Straight Line to Success


Sermon Text: Matthew 16:16 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Sermon Title: The Straight Line to Success

BP: Move the hearers to trust God.

Introduction: Everyone wants to know the keys to a successful life.  Millions of people believe if they won the Powerball and meg a millions success would be theirs. Actually there is nothing wrong with wanting success.  Who doesn’t want to  be a successful wife, husband, dad, mom, worker, athlete, golfer, gardener, cook, whatever. No one wants to fail.  Most people I know want to succeed – to be great at something but how.  Let’s look at the life of peter for help…Jesus ask the question who do men say he is? Peter gives the correct answer then gets the keys to the kingdom authority….

Point 1:  Mistakes reveal your true motives. Vs. 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Move 2: Mistakes mature you. Matthew 17:1 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.

Move 3: Mistakes aren’t final. Matthew 17:5 5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”   

 

 

 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Bruised Not Broken

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Pericope: 2 Corinthians 11:24 – 29
Sermon Text: 2 Corinthians 11:24, 25 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea;
Sermon TitleGREATER: Pt 3: Breaking Point (Bruised But Not Broken)
BP: Move the hearers to trust God.
Introduction: Last Sunday I introduced you to a scrawny scared little boy who had been picked on like Amos. As we looked through the prism of my life and at Amos the fruit picking prophet, we discovered a fruit that only ripens when bruised. In other words, how did I end up being a fearless Bishop in the Lord's church after starting out like I did? Bruised by life itself. That fact makes me ask the question why does God bruise us before he uses us? Why does God permit life to be so hard sometimes? Why do we have to be the fruit he has to bruise so we can ripen? Why can't we be like other fruit that can just linger in the warm sun rays and ripen. Amos picked Sycamore figs and so does God. Remember the sycamore-figs Amos picked had to be bruised before the would ripen. How many of you feel like a sycamore fig? When I raise this question, I can't help but think about Paul in and see how God did some dastardly things to him. The text is just a snippet of Paul’s bruised and difficult life. I want us to investigate his whole life. When we do we will get some answers as to why God permit life to bruise us so he can use us.
Transition: Look at the first thing God did…
Move 1:  God blinded PaulActs 9:8- 8 Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
God knew from the beginning of time Paul was going to write two thirds of the New Testament. God knew before the beginning of time Paul would formulate Christian theology from Christ's life. God knew before the beginning of time Paul would provide leadership for the early church. God knew before the beginning of time Paul would be used to bring organization and order to the early church. God knew before the beginning of time he would use Paul to plant churches all over Europe and Asia minor. But just because God knew Paul’s end from the beginning and his destiny, God still had to blind him to get him there. God had to take Paul through some things to get him to the place he could use him. So, first God blinded him and made him follow before he could lead. 
Vs. 8 8 Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.
Paul had to be brought to a place of total submission and humility. For Paul it was blindness. What will it be for you and I?
Humility is key to being used by God. My mother use to tell me, “son stay low and humble, so the Lord can use you. Humility isn’t a fake pious look on your face, its your spirit being controlled by God. Example wild horse…meek inherit the earth…
What kind of situation does God have to bring you to before you are blind enough to seeRepeat. There are times when we are in the middle of the day riding our horse and life itself blinds us. Notice the light only blinded Paul and not the men with him. There are some things in life that God will permit that will only affect you and no one else. The way out is stop trying to see with your eyes and start looking through theblinded eyes of God. Humble yourself before the Lord and he will exalt you…
Transition:  After God temporarily blinded Paul he still wasn't finished making Paul sohe pressurized him.
Move 2: God put Paul under constant pressure2 Corinthians 12:7-87 So to keep me from becoming conceitedbecause of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass meto keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.
What kind of God elevates you to see what nobody has ever seen or heard then put you under the pressure of constant attacks to keep you humble? God why did you elevate me if you were only going to put a thorn in my flesh to keep me in check? Why did you let me see so much then not permit me to tell what I saw? God do you not trust me. You trusted me to see it but not tell what I saw. God wouldn't it have been better to never let me experience the third heaven if you couldn't trust me with the revelation.
God wouldn't it have been better had I never had a husband if we were going to get a divorce. God wouldn't it have been better had I not gotten the promotion if it was going to be so stressful. God wouldn't it have been better if I never had a child if they were going to be so disobedient. So many times, we think pressure will be turned off at some point but not so. The human spirit does not have gadgets or instruments that say that's enough. Picture of PSI RPM EXPLAIN
There is no such monitor we can put on our face or head that says that's enough. God himself monitors your pressure valve. God is making steel out of your state of being. When steel is made it is put under a tremendous amount of pressure. The dross on the substance that's part of steel but is weaker than the steel must be separated in order for the steel to be strengthened.
Picture or video of steel being made not until the dross is separated can the steel get its strength. Constant pressure is the only way. God elevates you but keeps you under constant pressure so you can be strong enough to deal with the new level.Some of you are looking for relief just know that God is looking at the pressure release valve. 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
TransitionGod blinded Paul. God put Paul under constant pressure, but God wasn't finished
Move 3: God bruised Paul2 Corinthians 11:24-25 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rodsOnce I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea;
I am thoroughly bothered with how Godpermitted Paul to be treated. What's the point God that you let all of this happened to Paul. Surely, he has endured enough. Can somebody shout enough already. Look at your neighbor and say I would have quit. At some point you have to understand how God operates. If He bruised his own son there must then we must know we too will be bruised. 
I can't think of one biblical character God didn't bruise. I can't think of one biblical character God didn't rough up a little bit but most of them came out bruised but not broken. Abraham…Isaac…Jacob…Moses…DavidSolomon…The Judges…The Prophets…Jesus…

Friday, October 12, 2018

GREATER - The Amos Effect


Sermon Text: Amos 1: 6, 7:12-17 6 Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they carried into exile a whole people to deliver them up to Edom. 12 And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, 13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.” 14 Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah,“I was no prophet, nor a prophet's son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. 15 But the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16 Now therefore hear the word of the Lord. “You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel, and do not preach against the house of Isaac.’17 Therefore thus says the Lord: “Your wife shall be a prostitute in the city, and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword,   and your land shall be divided up with a measuring line; you yourself shall die in an unclean land, and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.’”
GREATER: “The Amos Effect”
Move 1: You speak up when everybody tells you to shut up. Vs 12-13 12 And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, 13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”
Move 2: The Amos Effect is when you find yourself. Vs. 14 Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor a prophet's son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs.
a)  Genesis 1;27 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
b)  Genesis 2:7 7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
c)  Psalm 139:14 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
d)  Acts 17:28 28 for “‘In him we live and move and have our being… “‘For we are indeed his offspring.
e)  Romans 8:29 - For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers
Move 3: The Amos Effect is when God finds you when no one else is looking for you. Vs 15 But the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 
Life Application: 
1.When others reject you God accepts you.
2. You may be a fruit picker but Gods is going to make you fruitful.
3. You are made in the image of God and Jesus is your selfie.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

GREATER: A Work in Progress


Sermon Text: Judges 7:16 16 And he divided the 300 men into three companies and put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars, with torches inside the jars.
Sermon Title: GREATER: A Work in Progress

Point 1: Greatness is the process of eliminating your dependency on people. Judges 7:2 2 The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’

Point 2: Greatness is the process of elimination your dependency on things. Judges 7:16 And he divided the 300 men into three companies and put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars, with torches inside the jars.
Empty jars and trumpets…
Point 3: Greatness is the process of the ordinary becoming extraordinary. Judges 7:22 When they blew the 300 trumpets, the Lord set every man's sword against his comrade and against all the army. And the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath.    

Life Application: 
1.  God will work with what you have and who you are.

2. God’s time is not our time.  

3. Greatness is a work in progress. Trust the process.


Sunday, October 7, 2018

GREATER: I Can Do This!


Sermon Text: Judges 6: 15 15 And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.”
Sermon Title: GREATER; I CAN DO THIS!
Point 1: Greatness faces reality. Vs 3-6 3 For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. 4 They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. 5 For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number—both they and their camels could not be counted—so that they laid waste the land as they came in. 6 And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord.
11 Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you,
 Vs. 12 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you…
Point 2: Greatness looks within.  Vs 15 15 And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.”
Point 3: Greatness looks at God. Vs 12 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.”
3a: Look at what Gods says about Gideon. Vs 12 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.”
3b: Look at how God said you will win.  Vs 16 16 And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.”
3c: Look at how God will build your confidence.  God’s grace makes us great. Vs 40 40 And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew. Life Application:
1.  Stop doing start being the brand God called you to be
2.  Trust him he would never appoint you without anointing you
3.  Look at your reality…look at yourself…look at your God

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Beginning of Greater


Sermon Text: Genesis 3:10 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
Sermon Title: The Beginning of Greater
Point 1: Sin always requires cover. Adam tried to hide his sin. Genesis 3:6 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
        1a:  God was looking for Adam not fig leaves “Adam where are you”
Point 2: You can’t cover perfection. Garden Eden was perfect, Adam and Eve w/Out want. Genesis 3: 7 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.  
        2a: Adam sought refuge behind something lesser, dead, incapable Genesis 3: 7 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
Point 3: God provided temporary and permanent cover. Animal skins then Jesus. Genesis 3:15 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”      
        3a: Fear turned into fig leaves
Conclusion:  You were made for greater stop covering it up.  Stop stitching it up. Start standing in your greatness. Stop looking for acceptance.  Stop trying to improve upon perfection.  Release the Greater in you through Jesus Christ.  I can do all things through Christ who Strengthens me. Phil 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

I Can't Get Enough

Pericope :   James 4:7-10 - 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will...