Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Tonic of Thanksgiving


Pericope:  Romans 1:18-23NIV
Sermon Text: Rom 1:21NIV  21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Sermon Title:  The Tonic of Thanksgiving
Context/History: The context of the text is this.  We have Paul writing his famous letter to the church in Rome.  This letter is considered by scholars to be the best letter of all of Paul’s letters, because he eloquently makes God’s argument about who God is and how God related to mankind and all of creation.  The formula for salvation is found in Romans 10:9 - 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
The letter argues the case for a theology after the OT. It digs deep into theology relationship between man and God. 
Introduction:  In our text, at the outset of Paul’s eloquent argument, in the middle of the passage we generally turn to in order to explain the sexual perversity of humankind, Paul says something up to now I have repeatedly overlooked.  
...they knew God but refused to give God thanks... Wow they refused to give God thanks. 
In the middle of Paul’s explanation for the decline and depravity of humankind, Paul said thanksgiving was withheld from God. REPEAT In other words, I know your name but you refuse to thank my name. Could it be thanksgiving is what stands in between mankind’s decline, depravity and perversity? Paul is saying something as simple as thanking God is the thing that prevents us from sliding down a hill away from God.  Verse 21 says there are at lease three parts that should make us want to take the Tonic of Thanksgiving and receive the Thanksgiving therapy so we can maintain our close relationship with God.  Thinking.  Turning. Thanking.
Point 1:  Thinking.  Paul said the moment you stop thanking God your thinking changes.  KJV puts it this way...neither were thankful but became vain in their imagination.  The RSV says...they did not honor God or give thanks to him but became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened.  The Living Bible says - Yes, they knew about him all right, but they wouldn’t admit it or worship him or even thank him for all his daily care. And after a while they began to think up silly ideas of what God was like and what he wanted them to do. The result was that their foolish minds became dark and confused.
The moment I stop thanking God I began to think it was me who provided for me.  Moses reminded the Israelites against that kind of thinking.  Deut. 8:11-18: 11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery17 You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." 
Paul also made the point when you stop thanking God your thinking goes from light to dark.  In other words, I lose sight of the worth of what I have.  The moment a person is not thankful for the blessings of a spouse they will unwittingly misuse, abuse and take for granted.  Some with our car, clothes, children.  Everything loses its value in your eyes when you are not thankful for it.  The therapy of Thanksgiving brings in a balance of humility over huberousTaking care of something over discarding it Forethought over no thought.  Thankful people are thoughtful people – thankless people are thoughtless people.  
Point 2:  Turning
Paul says when you stop thanking God you start turning to other things to take God’s place.  You see thanking and honoring God is a part of who we are... 
All of them know what we too know but sometimes forget. Even in the darkest hours of our lives "If We Give Him Thanks" a transaction takes place. Think about it. When you say thank you it is because some kind of transaction has taken place. Somebody gave you something and the only appropriate response is thank you. 
That is still the case. God performs a transaction whenever you say thank you. The powerful thing about God's transaction is, even though you are saying it as result of Him doing something for you, more happens when you say it. What happens? He restores you! He gives you more! He gives you joy! He delivers you! All you have to do is say thank you!
We are made to thank God.  The psalmist said let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Mankind must fill the vacuum within that constantly cries out for the Creator.  When a person denies God’s existence by refusing to praise him then they must find a substitute.  Paul says we find three:
A. Idols – vs. 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
a. We replace God with stuff, houses, clothes, food, fine living, etc.
B. Ourselves – vs. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
a. We replace God with selfish love, sex with self, preoccupation with ourselves by placing us on the throne
C. Creation – vs. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie andworshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
a. We replace God with God’s wonderful creation, wildlife, environment, etc.
Point 3:  Thankful.  Paul says the way to keep everything in perspective, the way to keep life in balance is simply give God thanks.  Remember, Paul said in verse 1 – we knew God.  The Hebrew for knew God means to have knowledge of God is to acknowledge God. In other words, Paul is saying there is no way you can know God without thanking God.  to know God is to thank God.  the two are inseparable.  You just don’t walk past God lie someone on the street.  If you see God, you immediately stop and thank God.  

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Make it Reign - Stormy Weather


Pericope: Matthew 14: 22 - 31 2 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Sermon Text: Matthew 14: 28 28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
Sermon Title: Make It Reign Pt 2 Stormy Weather!
Point 1:  It’s never the right time for a storm!  Matthew 14:25 (TLB)
25 About four o’clock in the morning Jesus came to them, walking on the water!     
·       But storms don’t come according to our timing. 
·       It’s not according to your time/watch chronos but God time/watch which Kiros. 
·       Kiros time is when God intersects and intervenes our time for an event he scheduled in eternity. 
Point 2:  Storms always makes it more difficult to see Jesus.  Vs 26 26 They screamed in terror, for they thought he was a ghost.
·       Storms come in many forms. 
·       Jesus give me wisdom.
·       James 1: 5, 6 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
Point 3:  Jesus will always ask you to come into the storm. Vs. 28, 29 (TLB) Then Peter called to him: “Sir, if it is really you, tell me to come over to you, walking on the water.” 29 “All right,” the Lord said, “come along!” So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.     
·       Jesus literally asked Peter to come deeper into the storm. 
·       Which brings up question how does Peter hear Jesus in a storm?  John 10: 27 27 My sheep recognize my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
Point 4: Stormy weather is always a forecast of more faith. Vs 31 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Vs. 22-23 (MSG) 22-23 As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray.
        a. Don’t take the storm personally.
Matthew 5: 45 45… For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust too.
        b. Plant during the storm Time, Talent and Treasure. Ecc 3:11 Everything is appropriate in its own time. But though God has planted eternity in the hearts of men, even so, many cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end., Isaiah 55: 10, 11 10 As the rain and snow come down from heaven and stay upon the ground to water the earth, and cause the grain to grow and to produce seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry, 11 so also is my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It shall accomplish all I want it to and prosper everywhere I send it.
        c. Expect a harvest. Haggai 2:9The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.

Point 5: The storm is for you and your crew. Vs 33 33 The others sat there, awestruck. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
·       Spread your faith
·       Connect to Jesus
·       Share the joy.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

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 come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
Sermon Text: James 4:8 - Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
NLT - 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
Sermon Title:  I Can’t Get Enough!
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Paul also put it this way…1Cor 13:9-12 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  
Matthew says it this way 6: 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Point 1:  Self Expression – vs. 7a…Submit yourselves…
Psalms 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Point 2:  Self Discovery – vs. 7b…resist the devil
Point 3:  Examine yourself – vs. 8…wash your hands…purify your hearts [don’t be] doubleminded
Matthew 15:18 - But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.
Jesus said the Pharisees were like whitewashed graves.  Matthew 23:27 - "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.
Point 4:  Center yourself – vs. 8 Come near to God…
Paul said 1 Cor. 10:31 - So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Point 5: Humble yourself.  vs. 10…he will lift you up…
3 John 2 -  Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

God Where Are You?


Pericope: Exodus 33: 12-23 12 Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ 13 Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” 14 And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” 17 And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” 18 Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” 19 And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” 21 And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, 22 and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”
Sermon Text: Exodus 33: 22 22 and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by.
Sermon Title: God Where Are You?
Point 1:  Show up God for the journeyVs 1-2 The Lord said to Moses, “Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give it.’ 2 I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 
       
Hebrews 13:5 5…“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Romans 8:31 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
        Lamentations 3:22-23
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Proverbs 3: 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (6) in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path
Point 2:  Show up God for them – Exodus 33:13 13 Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.”
       
Point 3:  Hide Me. Vs 20, 21 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” 21 And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock,
Point 4:  Cover Me.  Vs 22…I will put you in the cleft of the rock (23)…You will not see my face…Vs 3…Lest I consume you on the way