Archive for the ‘Sermons’ category

Twinkle,Twinkle Little Star.Philippians.2:12-18.(v.15)

September 26, 2011

Philippians.2:15b.Among whom you shine as lights in the world.

A wealthy man was asked,what is the greatest experience of your life? He had a lear jet airplane that he could fly anywhere in the world. He had many experiences as one of the wealthiest men in the world would have.But he said,the most exciting experience I have is sitting with my wife,holding her hand on the front porch of our house at night and watching the show.He meant of course,that there is a great delight in watching what God puts on in the spectacular universe.David declared in Psalm.8:3-4,When I consider the heavens,the work of thy fingers,the moon and the stars,which thou hast put in place;what is man,that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man,that thou visitest him?

The King of the universe as we look into the sky each evening is the sun because the sun speaks of power,greatness and might.But the sun to us is only great and powerful because the sun is so close to us.Many of the stars many times larger than the sun are only smaller because they are so great distances from the earth.The sun is not all that far away from the earth.They tell us it is about ninety three million miles from the earth to the sun.

There are some stars in God’s universe that are so large that they could not pass between the distance of the sun and the earth.They are more than 93 million miles in diameter or across.

When God put this show together,he put it on a great stage and it is a magnificant show. If you could catch a ride on a ray of light that travels 186,000 miles per second,you could travel from the earth to the moon in a second and a half.Now, you would be dizzy when you got there,but nevertheless it would be a fast ride.But if you were riding that same ray of light at the same rate of speed it would take you four hours to get to Mars…because Mars is that much further out in God’s great universe.

There are some stars so far away that travelling at that same rate of speed…if you were to travel 150 years you would still not be there.God is some kind of God isn’t he?No wonder the wealthy man said,  “The most exciting experience that I  have is sitting on the front porch with my wife,holding her hand and looking at the mighty show.”

With our imagination working, I want us too see the stars.(v.15) Paul said, you are like stars.You shine in this universe like the stars of the heavens.

People are like the stars of the heavens.Some shine brightly, some shine dimly.Some twinkle and flicker for a little bit and then they go out.Some are exciting for awhile and then like a shooting star they fall out of the sky.

People are like stars (v.15). You are like the lumanaries of the firmament.God has put you in this darkened world to shine as stars.When God puts us in the world to bear a witness, He doesn’t want us to be Super Stars.He just wants us to be stars; He just wants us to do our thing; just to perform as he has created us and recreated us by regeneration.

How not to be saved.

April 14, 2011

Luke.23:43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Do we want proof that salvation is of grace and not of works? We have it in the case before us. The dying thief was nailed hand and foot to the cross.  He could do literally nothing for his own soul. Yet even he through Christ’s infinite grace was saved. No one ever received such a strong assurance of his own forgiveness as this man.

1.He could not work for his salvation.His hands were nailed to a cross. Titus.3:5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.

2. He could not walk for his salvation. His feet were nailed to a cross. It is only after salvation that we experience walking in the Lord. Col.2:6. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.

3.He could not worship for his salvation. Do we need proof that sacraments and ordinances are not absolutely needful for salvation, and that men may be saved without them when they cannot be had? The dying thief was never baptized, belonged to no visible church, and never received the Lord’s supper. But he repented and believed, and therefore was saved.(J.C.Ryle).

4.He could not wait for his salvation.Today is the day of salvation. Here is one who was saved at the last minute. One thief was saved that no sinner may despair, but only one, that no sinner may presume.

What he saw:

John Wesley once said, “Conversion is a work of God’s grace in the heart,” and nothing short of this can be conversion. It is a supernatural event resulting from a new vision.

1.He realized who Jesus was. “Lord,” he cried, “remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”

2.He believed in the resurrection of Jesus.“Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Dead men do not have kingdoms.

3.He saw Jesus as the redeemer.This man has done nothing amiss.”Lord, remember me.”

Jesus opened his heart and said, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.

There is a fountain filled with blood,

Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;

And sinners plunged beneath that flood

Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see

That fountain in his day;

And there may I, though vile as he,

Wash all my sins away.

Commentary on Luke 23:39-43.

John Trapp:

Verse 40. But the other answering rebuked him saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? Silent he was for awhile, and therefore seemed to consent; till hearing Christ’s prayer and the enemies’ outrages, he broke out into this brave confession, worthy to be written in letters of gold.

Verse 41.And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.This good thief, like the olive tree, bore fruit late, but great store of that which was excellent.
Verse.42.Remember me…By this penitent prayer he made his cross a Jacob’s ladder, whereby, the angels descended to fetch up his soul.
Verse.43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. See the infinite love of Christ to penitent sinners, in that when he hung upon a tree, and was praying dear for man’s sins, he rejected not this malefactor’s petition.Shall he not hear us now that all is paid and finished?

TODAY!! This is not everybody’s happiness. A pardon is sometimes given to one upon the gallows; but who so trust to that, the rope may be his hire.Most deal with repentance as country people do with physicians-love not have to do with till they feel they are gasping the last breath. The mole begins not to see till he be at the point of death.The serpent stretcheth not himself out straight till he hath received his death wound. But what if God should say to such lingerers, as the crab in the fable did to the dying serpent. “It’s too late now, you should have lived so.”

How To Develop Emotionally Disturbed Children.

April 7, 2010

Paul D.Meier,M.D.,author of Christian Child-Rearing and Personality Development gives…..

Ten easy steps for developing your normal,healthy baby into a drug addict or alcoholic.

These steps are the same for both drug addiction and alcoholism,since a majority of cases of both drug addiction and alcoholism stem from the same type of personality disorder.

1.Spoil him;give him everything he wants if you can afford it.

2.When he does wrong,you may nag him,but never spank him(unless he is showing signs of independence ).

3.Foster his dependence on you,so drugs and alcohol can replace you when he is older.

4.Protect him from your husband and from all those mean teachers who threaten to spank him from time to time.Sue them if you wish.

5.Make all his decisions for him,since you are a lot older and wiser than  he is.He might make mistakes and learn from them if you don’t.

6.Criticize his father openly,so your son can lose his own self-respect and confidence.

7.Always bail him out of  trouble so he will like you.Besides, he might harm your reputation if he gets a police record.Never let him suffer the consequences of his own bwhaviour.

8.Always step in and solve his problems for him,so he can depend on you and run to you when the going gets tough.Then when he is older and still hasn’t learned how to solve his own problems,he can continue to run from them through drugs or alcohol.

9.Just to play it safe,be sure to dominate your husband and drive him to drink too,if you can.

10.Take lots of prescription drugs yourself,so that taking non-prescription drugs won’t be a major step for him.

Two Coins In A Trumpet:Peek a Boo,He’s Watching You:Mark 12:41-44

February 15, 2010

Mark.12:41-44.And Jesus sat over against the treasury,and beheld(gazed intently) how the people cast their money into the treasury:and many that were rich cast in much.And there came a certain poor widow,and she threw in two mites,which made a farthing.And he called unto him his disciples,and saith unto them,Verily I say unto you,That this poor widow hath cast more in,than all they which have cast into the treasury:For all they did cast in of Their abundance;but she of her want did cast in all that she had,even all her living.

The story is told of a circus strong man who had very powerful hands.One of the things that he would do is take an orange before the crowd and squeeze it with his bare hand until every drop of juice came out.And then he dared the audience to find another drop because of how strong he was.So he would squeeze it and every drop would be rung out.Big men would come up and and try to squeeze it more,but to no avail.There would be no more juice to come out.On one ocassion a real skinny man came up and said,”I would like to try.” They laughed but gave him orange.He took one hand and with all the strength he could muster up,he squeezed it and to the shock of the strong man and the crowd there was a drop of orange juice that dripped out.They couldn’t believe it.They said,”how in the world were you able to squeeze out another drop of orange juice?Where did you get that power?” He said,”It’s easy,I’m the local treasurer for the Baptist church down the street.” “I know how to squeeze stuff out of folks.”

It is unfortunate that far too many churches must squeeze out of people in this area of stewardship.They’ve got to beg and hit folks over the head in order to squeeze out the last drop.Collection after collection.Attempt after attempt to simply break even.Pastor Tony Evans said,”When that happens,something is drastically wrong with the heart.When God has to squeeze out of us praise,time and service——when He has been this good-something is wrong and it is a matter of the heart.”

Jesus is concerned about the motivation behind our giving…..the matter of the heart related to our stewardship and he uses the indicater of money,because money was what he saw as that which really indicated where a person’s heart was.Jesus said,”For where your treasure is ,there will your heart be also.{Matt.6:21}.It was not that he was interested in money per-say.But money and how you use it is a good indicater.In your car and my car we have indicater lights.When the car is running low on gas a light comes on and lets you know.There is not a light problem,but that there is a bigger problem. Or when the engine is overheated,the light comes on,not because there is a light problem,but because there is an engine problem.The light is an indicater of something worse inside.So Jesus would use the sensitive area of money…because one in every six verses that he ever spoke raised the question of money…not because money was the issue……….but it was a light that showed where the heart was, because God knows that the last thing a person will give up is their money.It was a light,an indicater of where the heart was.{Illustration from Pastor Tony Evans}.

The Bible is clear that God in heaven is watching carefully how we live.Ethel Waters used to sing the song, His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches you.It is a great encouragement to know that no matter where I go,or what I do,my heavenly Father is watching over me,understanding my needs,and caring for me.But there is another side to that.God is not only watching over my life for my protection;.He is also watching over my life to evaluate it.

One of the last public act of Christ’s ministry was neither a sermon or a miracle…but an evaluation. Mark12:41-42.

There were 13 treasuries in the court yard of the Temple,shaped like a tall box,with a trumpet coming out of it much like that on the old RCA pictures.When a man cast money into it,it was possible to make the coins roll around,and be heard all over the Temple.

Christ thought this action was important,for half of his parables were devoted to the issue of money.Fifteen per-cent of everything He said recorded in scripture has to do with our attitudes and actions with finances.He beheld-gazed upon them as though they were a form of theater.He was close enough to see who threw in much and who tossed in little.The Lord even noticed the two coins coming from the withered hand of a widow and created an object lesson for his disciples .What does God look for when he watches the treasury?

1.The Cirumstances from which we give.

Jesus was a great observer of human experience in general.But he also had an eye for the individual.This wonderful little story illustrates both of these qualities.It describes a woman whose devotion to the Lord stands in marked contrast to that of the educated theologians who had proved to be such a thorn in Jesus’ side.{Sinclair Ferguson.Let’s study Mark}.

Here was a contrast—-one poor widow—-and many wealthy people She was a pauper,one who must eke out a living each day.God knew all about that widow and he knows all about each of us.He knows the circumstances from which we give.He knows if we have much or if we have little.We often say to the poor,”God doesn’t expect you to give…..you have so little.” But that is not how God designed the church.Our faith is revealed n our giving,whether we have much or little.She gave out of her poverty because she understood that God saw what she had.The Lord knows the circumstances from which we give.

2.The Amount that we give.

She gave two mites….A widow is indeed poor if she has only two mites(lepta).The lepta was a tiny copper coin with the least value of any in circulation in the time of Jesus,about one-eighth of a Roman  assarion.The two lepta are said to be worth a quadrans,the smallest Roman coin.Four quandans equal an assarion which was worth one-sixteenth of a denarius.If a day laborer earned a denarius for a days wages (Matt.20:2),this woman has one-sixty-fourth of that wage.If this is all she has to live on,she is indeed destitute.The two mites represented the widow,for she gave more than all they which have cast into the treasury(v.43).She put in her entire life.

A pastor made an appeal for a worthy cause.A lady in the church gave a check for $50.00.She asked the pastor,”Is that enough? The pastor replied,”Of course,if it represents you.” She took the check back and wrote another check for $5,000.”This check represents me,and I’m happy to give it to the Lord.”Remember,the Lord cares about the amount we give because it represents us.

3.The appraisal of what we give.v.43.And he called unto him his disciples,and said unto them,Verily I say unto you,That this poor widow has cast more in,than all they which have cast into the treasury.

Jesus said to his disciples,”Come over here,you have got to see this.”So stunned was Jesus by what he saw that he called a congregational gathering of his fellow preachers and said,”Did you see that?” Did you see what I just saw?”He was so overwhelmed that he couldn’t stand to look at by himself.He didn’t want them to miss the widow.Jesus fixes his attention on her.Why? Because she gave more.v.43.

Those words must have shaken up his disciples.They had watched the wealthy give.The Lord said the two mites are worth more.He explained….v.44.Her whole livelihood.The wealthy gave out of their surplus.The widow gave out of her…life.The gifts given by the wealthy did not touch life at all….but the widow’s gift touched the very core of her being.

God doesn’t evaluate our giving by what we…give.He evaulates our giving by what we…have.2.Cor.8:12.For if there be first a willing mind,it is accepted according to that a man hath,and not according to that he has not.

A study revealed that people who make less than $10,000 per year give the greatest per-centage of their income to the things of God.Economic prosperity can become a curse.In Romania 95% of the believers who face the test of persecution pass it,while 95% of those who face the test of prosperity fail it.This was true of Israel.Whenever they were hungry and persecuted they turned to the Lord.But whenever they experienced peace and prosperity they turned toward evil.Hosea.13:6.According to their pasture,so were they filled;they were filled,and their heart was exalted;therefore have they forgotten me.

4.The lesson for what we give.

When Jesus visited the treasury that day,he saw many people giving of their abundance,but he took note of one poor widow who gave God all she had.

When these two types of people are shown in contrast,we can better see the example we are to follow.The Bible often reveals two contrasting individuals to help us see the truth.

The generous Abraham is contrasted with the greedy Lot,and it was the generous man who succeeded.The Big hearted Barnabas is contrasted with the self-centered actions of Ananias and Sapphira.The unselfish Mary is contrasted with the selfish Judas.

The scriptures often present the truth by revealing the contrast of two people.When we read about the widow in Mark.12,we see a woman who trusts completely in God,who gave everything she had to him,because she knew He would care for her.

We have trusted God with our eternal souls,can’t we trust him with our temporal riches?

A man complained to his pastor about not having any money left over for God after paying his bills.The pastor replied,”Would you be willing to trust God to take care of you,tithe every month and bring me whatever bills you that you can’t pay?” Of course the man quickly agreed to that plan.The pastor said,”It is strange that you would trust me,an imperfect man to care for your needs,but you will not rust Almighty God,who gave his Son to die on a cross.When it comes right down to it,we either trust God to take care of us,or we trust in our money.

The widow saw past the treasury box,past the poverty of her own life,and peered into eternity.She understood that the things worth living for are not in this world.The wealthy lived for this world,but the widow lived for the next.Every person is either moving toward the treasury or away from it.If we spend our life in the pursuit of wealth we waste it,racing away from the true treasure of heaven.But the person whose treasures are locked away in eternity has every reason to rejoice,whether things in this life are easy or hard….for that person has learned to trust in the faithfulness of God,who is watching us as we approach the treasury.

Randy Hyde in his sermon,”Catching Christ’s Attention”,writes,”She caught Jesus’ attention.Jesus was taken with her gift,because he was about to do the same,but not with coins in his pocket.Jesus never carried any money.He was about to do what this poor widow did—-except in his case it would be his life that he would give and the treasury would come in the form of a wooden cross.She caught his attention because she gave everything she had and he was about to do the same….will we do it.?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help him,Jesus!Help him,Jesus!

June 2, 2009

A faithful listener in church writes to preachers:

I always feel sorry for a preacher who is floundering’on his feet.Everybody does.There they are,talking along through a snoring sea of nodding narcoleptics,knowing they’e not cutting the mustard.Furthermore,they know we know.It’s like watching the crash and burn of an airliner in slow motion.You know where it’s all going to end and you can’t do a thing to stop it.Preachers have to fail so publicly.

I was at an Africian American service the other day when a poor monotone European-American was boring us out of our gourds.One hefty brother,toward the back of the service,kept saying,”Help him,Jesus!Help him,Jesus!”Jesus didn’t.I don’t know why Jesus didn’t help him.We all would have if we could.

Still I’ve seen it happen a lot of times.You think when they’re up there preaching God’s word,He’d help ‘um out of the mess that they sometimes get themselves in.Everybody would appreciate it.But God just kind of watches a poor sermon go up in smoke,shaking his head like the rest of us.

I’ve always wondered why,when a preacher knows he’s not doing it,why he just doesn’t bless everybody and send them off to the cafeterias early.A surgeon will stop her surgey when she knows her patient has died on the operating table. A boxer will leave the ring once the fight is over and the arena is empty.A cowboy will dismount when he knows for sure his horse is dead.Only preachers keep on preaching after they’ve run out of sermon.Darndest thing,they just won’t quit.In all my years of church–going,I’ve never heard a soul criticize preachers for preaching short sermons,only vice–versa.Anyway,if I were you,I’d quit preaching just before we quit listening.If not,don’t expect God to come down and deliver you.He won’t do it.You’ll be up there failing all by yourself with everybody lookin’ on.If you do it very often,maybe you should get another job.

———Your Audience.

From,The Empowered Communicator,by Calvin Miller(page 188)

Rambling Advice From A Rustic,Retired Pastor.

April 29, 2009

I want to share some important things I have learned as a pastor for 40 years.They are not listed in any particular order.Some are more important than others.Many of them are just matters of common(horse sense).In my journey of 40 years as a pastor,I have learned more from preachers who have honestly told of the mistakes they have made in the ministry than I ‘ve learned from the great and often embellished success stories that they have shared with us.

1.You cannot and should not attempt to control anybody in the church.The pastor who is a control freak,is insecure and unstable.Make sure that you are under the control of the Holy Spirit.I assure you that will be a full time job.

2.Be willing to say at times when you are asked a question,“I don’t know.”

3.Your job is to fill the pulpit.It is not your job to fill the pews.

4.Lead the flock.Don’t push the flock.Read this one ten times a day.

5.You are not indispensable.If you are sick on sunday morning..stay home.Let the chairman of deacons pray his same prayer of 30 years…Lord,lead,guide and direct us..take the offering and dismiss the service.

6.Don’t even attempt to please everybody.If you do ,you are on a performance trip and trap.We are to please our Lord who has called us into the ministry.On the other hand,do not try to dis-please everybody.There is no virtue in being obstinate.

7.Preaching should be personal..but not individualistic.Heed this advice or you will be sorry one day.

8.Start on time and quit on time.(nuff said).

9.In times of crisis or  conflict…P-A-U-S-E before you respond.

10.It is perfectly alright to be dogmatic on certain issues,but try not to be bull dogmatic.

11.Avoid wealth,women and the abuse of wine in the ministry.

12.Don’t call down teen-agers for talking while you are preaching.Just stop in mid-sentence and stare at them until they stop.It will work every time.

13.A little sweat will save you a lot of tears.So go ahead and visit the hospital and shut ins.They will forget what you preached on sunday,but they will remember your visit.

14.STUDY…Study…Study…Study!!!PRAY…PRAY…PRAY!!!

15.If possible…use part time staff.What can a full time music person do all week?

16.It will do you good to say when neccessary,“I AM SORRY.”

17.If there is a need…Teach a sunday school class.If you don’t teach..then attend a SS class.You will be surprised at what is taught in some classes.If you have to use the SS hour to get ready for the worship at 11 you are in real trouble.

18.Don’t compare your ministry with the big church down the road.Be faithful where God has placed you.

19.Heed the advice that an old African American woman gave to a young man called into the ministry,“Be who you is,cause if you is who you ain’t,you ain’t who you is.”

20.Feel free to add or disagree with anything that I have said about 1-19.I would like to hear from you…I’m still a learner.

Romans.8:28.The mystery of suffering.God Works all things.Part.3.

March 17, 2009

Rom.8.:28.We know that for those who love God—He is working.He is ceaselessly,energetically and purposefully active on their behalf.(Stott).

1.The Certainty of the promise…We know.

2.The Completeness of the promise..All things.

3.The Cause of it.Why does it happen?God works.

Things that are happening in themselves are not working together by themselves.Where God does not rule,He over rules.God is the one who brings order out of confusion.God brings harmony out of discord.It was God who brought a cosmos out of a chaos.All things working together for good is not done by you.There is a God in the heavens.God causes all things to work together.not just for the sake of them working together…but He is the cause of things working together for our good.

Many years ago when you went to a Doctor,he would diagnose your case.He would then write you a prescription and you would take it to the drug store.The pharmacist would take something off this shelf..out of the bottle and then he would take something else off of another shelf and mix it ..all together.Maybe just one of those things taken by themselves would poison you.But when blended and mixed,the exact amount…He gives it to you and that medicine begins to work for your good.When you get it as a whole,when it has been blended..it makes all things work that you take then for your good.

Bread has flour,but flour is not the bread.Bread has milk,but milk is not the bread.Bread has baking soda,but baking soda is not the bread.Bread has salt and hot water.But salt and hot water is not bread.But when you take  the hot water and the flour,baking soda,milk,and salt,all mixed  and blended in together and then stuffed into the oven and taken out of the fire…You have good old bread.

And so it is with your life.Think about your life.If there were no struggles—just success all the time.If it was happiness all the time.We would become so intoxicated and drunk in joy.If it were misery all the time we would soon be led to a state of helplessness and despair.But what does God do?He takes the joy and the misery,The storm and the calm,the sunshine and the rain,the ups and the downs….all of these and mixes them together by the great Mixer and they work out for our good.

It takes somebody behind the scenes to see to it that all things work out for good.And that someone is our Heavenly Father and His watch care over us is so super fantastic that whatever happens in our lives as believers is no accident.There are no coinsidences.It is there by God’s providence and everything that happens to us is completely in his hands.Everything from dropping a spoon or spending a life time on a sick bed is in God’s control.Bad things,trials,tribulations,illnesses,accidents,disappointments,even failures are..all regulated by God.Everything from the tiniest temptation to the worst Satanic attack from the devil himself is regulated by God.

This is God’s purpose,God’s plan,God’s resolve,God’s will,and when God decides to do anything,it is God who sustains it.It is God who controls everything.

No event connected with the end in view,can fly beyond the bounds of His providence.He,however,is very explicit in asserting His control of all occurances,either by His positive or permissive decrees.”See now that I,even I,am he,and there is no god with me:I kill and I make alive;I wound and I heal.”(Deut.32:39).”The lord killeth and maketh alive;He bringeth down to the grave,and he bringeth up.The Lord maketh poor and maketh rich:He bringeth low,and he lifteth up.”(1.Sam.2:6,7).He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven,and among the inhabitants of the earth;and none can stay His hand or say unto Him,what doest thou.”(Dan.4:35).”Shall there be evil in the city and the Lord hath not done it”?(Amos.3:6).

No matter how sore your trials may be,they can be traced directly or indirectly to the will of God.Why He permits them is another question,and what Christians are to do,when suffering,is a question of very great importance in these difficult days.

Remember:

1.We know..

2.All things.

3.God Works together.

And we know that for those who love God…He is working on their behalf.