Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ordinary Time: Thursday, September 28, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Esther 7:1-10

We see again in this passage that God intercedes to save His people. He does not promise that things will always been easy, but he does promise that He will be with us, no matter what, and that He has a plan for our lives and for whatever happens. He saved His people in the story of Esther and He will be by our side in out times of trouble as well.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 19:11-20

We see in this passage it is not enough for us to know about Jesus, we must know Him ourselves; these people tried to use the name and power of Jesus without knowing Jesus. Likewise, we must know Jesus. It is not enough for us to know about Jesus, enough for us to know folks that know Jesus, we must know Jesus ourselves.

Gospel Lesson

Luke 4:14-30

We see that Jesus' sermon wasn't too well received. They even wanted to throw him all the cliff. I've never preached a sermon (that I know of) where folks wanted to throw me off a cliff. But, He was going to preach God's Word, because He was God's true Word.

He knew that He was salvation and He was there to ensure that all that heard Him would be true to God's commands. In the same way, we hear Him know. Do we obey? Do we follow? That is what Jesus wants us to do. Obey. Follow. Do you today?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ordinary Time: Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Esther 6:1-14

We haven't read all the story of Esther, but we see in this, Haman thinks he is going to be honored, when in reality, the evil he has done will soon be coming back to him. We reap what we sow. I heard a great sermon once where the preacher was saying that we reap what we sow, but sometimes, we sow, and then we hope for raining, thinking that we will not reap it. But, we will. If we do evil, at some point, evil will come back to us.

Now, God does make the rain fall on both the righteous and the unrighteous, and good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. But, if you are living a life of hatred, it will come back to you. Likewise, if you are living a life apart from God, it will come back to you. Today, we see the beginnings of Haman's downfall. This downfall was caused by his own sinful actions.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 19:1-10

We see that Paul continued to preach to do what God wanted him to do, even when folks left. He continued to be faithful, even when things didn't work out perfect. He continued to obey and serve God, even when things didn't go like he may have wanted. Friends, all we are called to do is be faithful. God will take care of the rest. We are called to work, the results are up to God. Today, your calling from God is simply this: be faithful.

Gospel Lesson

Luke 4:1-13

We see the importance of the Bible in this passage. When Jesus was tempted by the devil, He quoted the Bible back to the devil. He knew the Bible well enough to be able to recall it when it was needed. Do you know the Bible well enough this morning to do that. Temptation will come. Knowing the Word is the best defence against it.

Also, notice that the devil quoted the Bible to Jesus. But, Jesus knew the true meaning of the passages that the devil quoted. Lots of folks quote the Bible. Many, many, many take it out context. It isn't just enough for us to be able to quote the Bible, but we must be able to know what it actually means. The only way we can do this is digging deep within, and studying. And, studying with God's people: Bible Study at church, Sunday School, things such as this.

Right now, I know that each person that reads this will claim to love God and claim to love the Bible. But, does your love for the Bible move beyond words to action? Do you merely talk about how much you love the Bible, or do you actually read it, as an individual, and within the church?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sermon Podcasts

My sermons for Sunday are posted to our church's website. You can click here to listen to last Sunday's, as well as previous week's sermons.

Ordinary Time: Tuesday, September 25, 2006

Sorry my postings have been a little sporadic recently, hopefully (knock on wood) things will be back to normal in the weeks/months to come. Please remember my wife Holly in your prayers. She is 33 weeks pregnant and just been placed on bed rest for two weeks.

Just a quick thought today; tomorrow a full post.

"You may be as orthodox as the devil and as wicked."

John Wesley

One of my favorite quotes by Wesley. The devil believes correctly. The Word says that even the demons believe, and tremble at God (James 2:19). But, they do not obey. Today, the question is not do you believe in God. The question is do you obey. Today, just as the devil believes, so my way. But, likewise, just as the devil is wicked; if we do not obey, so shall we be.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ordinary Time: Thursday, September 21, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Job 28:1-28

We see here in Job that wisdom is to be searched for; and it will not be found upon the earth. Wisdom is found only in God. There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. Lots of people know lots of things. But, very few people are wise. Wisdom is not about being good at your job; it is not about knowing where to find a good sale; it is not about knowing how to build something.

Wisdom is about sight. It is about seeing. It is about seeing things that correct way. It is about seeing things the way God would have you to see. Wisdom tells you that some one's worth is not their bank account, but rather there worth comes from being a child of God. Wisdom tells you that that the stuff of life is not as important as the stuff of heaven. Wisdom tells you that it is in the simple things of life; a child's smile, a warm word, a beautiful sunset, a loving family, a faithful church; in these things we find true contentment, and true joy. The world does not teach us that. Wisdom does. And wisdom comes only from God.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 16:25-40

We see wisdom in this passage. When the earthquake came, Paul and Silas could have left, but the did not. They knew that there was a purpose for them even being in jail. That purpose was that the jailer and his family may come to know Jesus as Lord. There is a purpose in everything. Sometimes, we don't know what it is, but there is some good that can come out of every situation in life. Sometimes we can doubt that, sometimes we can think that is not possible. But, if God can use the jailing of his servants for His glory, He will. Likewise, in your life, thing will come, things will happen that God can use for His glory, if you will allow. Today, Paul and Silas allowed God to use this situation for His glory, and look what happened. Today, will you allow God to use your life for His glory, will you allow Him to work through you and in you in a powerful and mighty way?

Gospel Lesson

John 12:27-36a

When Jesus is lifted up; He will draw all unto Him. When He is lifted up in our lives, in our church, in our family, all will be drawn to Him. When He is lifted up with our words, with our actions, with our conduct, with who we are; all will be drawn to Him. When we live a life that gives Him the glory; all will be drawn to Him. When we live for Him; all will be drawn to Him.

Today, does your life draw all to Jesus? In your life, is He lifted up?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sermon Podcasts Posted

My sermons from yesterday are uploaded on my church website. You can click here to go there and download or listen them.

Ordinary Time: Monday, September 18, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Job 40:1-24

Job has the courage to question God, he has the courage to voice his compliant to God; which in the Old Testament is a rare thing. In this passage, we see God's response. Which is basically, who are you to question me? Were you there when I brought creation into being? Were you there when I did all that is seen and unseen? Do you not know that I am God?

As much as we know about God, as much as Christ revealed to us; as much as the Bible points out and instructs, there is still much to God that we don't know. We don't know all mysteries; we don't know all reasons; we don't know all the answers. That is part of what Job teaches us. There are some things we don't know and will never know. However, we do know this. God is good, and He loves us. So, while we don't know everything, we know that God has our best interest at heart.

So, even when you don't know the answer, don't know why, don't understand, Job teaches us this. Trust. Faith is when we don't know and still trust. Faith is when we don't feel like praying and still pray. Faith is when we have no reason for hope, but we still hope. Today, may you have faith.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 15:36-16:5

Today, we see Paul and Barnabas part ways. One thing I like so much about Barnabas is that he believes in giving folks second chances. John Mark deserted them in a time of need; in a time when they were spreading the word. Paul did not want him to come with them again. He must have felt like you could not count on him. In times of ministry, you need folks you can count on, you need folks you can trust. Paul did not feel like he could trust John Mark after he deserted them that time.

But, Barnabas believed in second chances. That is why he went to Paul and befriended him. Barnabas knew that John Mark needed another chance. And so, he and John Mark went there own way to spread the Gospel. Who was right in this situation? Paul or Barnabas? I believe that for their own reasons, they both were.

Paul was motivated by spreading the gospel, and in mission work, you need people you can count on; people you can trust. Paul did not trust John Mark. Barnabas was motivated by the notion of the second chance; he was an encourager. Yes, John Mark let them down before, but who hasn't made a mistake. They both had noble goals, and honestly, God needed them both. If Paul was not who he was, those of us that are not Jews would not be Christian. And, if Barnabas was not who he was, we would not have the Gospel of Mark, for that is who John Mark was, the man that God used to write that Gospel.

Gospel Lesson

John 11:55-12:8

We see today Judas want to look righteous with his concern for the poor. Sometimes we want to appear righteous before other people instead of actually being righteous by worshiping Jesus Christ. We should be more concerned with our hearts than with putting up an image of holiness. If our heart is right with God, we will really be holy, we will live a holy life. However, if we are just trying to fool people, we will be found out, and if our heart is not right with God; we will stand before Him and have to explain why we appeared Christian instead of becoming Christian. And, standing before a Holy God and trying to explain why we just played church is not something we should want to do.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Ordinary Time: Tuesday, September, 12, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Job 29:1-20

Job today longs for the days of old. That is one the things we can do the most in times of trial; remember the blessings of the past. Sometimes in the present moment of trail, we are tempted to think that there has never been grace in our lives before. That is not true. God has been with us in times past and will be with us again in days to come. We must remember that.

We must never forget what God has done for us. We must always remember that He has given us salvation, given us grace, given us hope. No matter the trials you are going through today, God is still with you and will be with you. Do not forget what He has done for you in the past, and know that He will be with you in the days to come.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 14:1-18

Now, any one that has every been used by God for something knows what it can be like to get the "big head." In fact, all of us know what it is like at some point to get the big head, to think more of ourselves than we really are. Today, Paul and Barnabas get a chance to really get the big head. The people of the town call them gods; they say that they are the human forms of the Greek gods. Paul says, no, we merely proclaim His message, that is all that we are.

That is true for us as well. No matter how great your talents, remember, fall in love with the giver of the gift, not the gift itself. We are nothing without God. Whatever good that comes out of us come from God working through us. He deserves praise for the good. He deserves credit for our gifts. It is His glory we should seek; not our own. Today, remember that you should be an arrow, pointing not at yourself, but pointing to God.

Gospel Lesson

John 10:31-42

We see all throughout John the people want signs, and Jesus is actually performing them. They just don't see. They don't see because they are not looking. We don't see what God is doing because we don't look. We don't hear what God is doing because we don't listen. He is at work. We just don't pay attention. And, the reason why we don't see and hear is because we don't do it right.

First we must have faith. When you have faith, you see signs every where. When you have faith, you hear His voice everywhere. We don't see and hear because we don't have faith. Today, stop looking with your eyes. Look with your heart; look with faith. If you look with faith, you will see signs. Today, will you see? Or will you remain blind?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sermon Podcasts

I've posted my sermons from yesterday to our church's website. You can click here to find yesterday's sermons, along with one's from previous weeks.

Ordinary Time: Monday, September 11, 2006

Remember those today that lost loved one's in the attacks of 9/11 as well as those that are in the military all over the world on this five year remembrance.

Old Testament Lesson

Job 32:1-10, 19, 33:1, 19-28

Elihu may have been the wisest of all the people in the book of Job. Job's friends wanted to blame all of his troubles on him. They believed that the reason he suffered so was because of some sin. We know that is not true, ti was a test by the devil.

But, Job, he becomes convinced of his own rightness. And that can be a fearful thing, for in the end, none of us are righteous, only God is. Elihu tells them both they are wrong.

But, he was the one that we least expected to talk. He was young, what did he know. Sometimes, wisdom comes in the unexpected places. Sometimes it comes from people we would think would not have any wisdom. Sometimes we miss what God has to say to us because we have already judged folks; they are too young, to immature, too whatever. Elihu did not look like one that had much to so. In Truth, he was the most wise. Today, listen for God to speak to you and through others in unexpected ways. Today, listen for His voice.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 13:44-52

We see in this passage that some rejected the Word of God, while others accepted. Just like in the Old Testament passage, the results are surprising. Those that expect to follow turn away, while those that have never been God's people accept. Sometimes the worst thing we can have is just a little religion. You know, go to church on Easter and and Christmas, know a coupe of bible stories, actually have our name on a church role. We can think just a little bit of religion can save us.

Unfortunately for those of us this morning with just a little bit of religion, Jesus is not satisfied with that. He doesn't want part of us; he wants all of us. A little bit is not enough. If you are not 100% His, then you are not fully who you should be. It is better for us to cold than luke warm. We have too many folks in churches that luke warm, they want just enough religion to keep them out of hell, but not enough to really change them. They only thing is, according to the word, that doesn't work. If we are just a little religious we are luke warm, and if we are luke warm, we will be spit out of His mouth.

Gospel Lesson

John 10:19-30

The people wanted more signs, and Jesus said, I have done them, you just don't believe. If you believe, you will see the signs. When we see with the eyes of faith, we see signs everywhere. Today, God is at work in your life. Today, God is moving in the life of your family, your church, and and in your life. Do you see it? Do you see what He is doing? If not, you may not be looking right. Today, look through the eyes of faith. Then, and only then, will you see what God is doing.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Ordinary Time: Tuesday, September, 5, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Job 12:1, 13:3-17, 21-27

One of the things that Job is faced with is that he knows he has done nothing to deserve what he is getting. He is not being punished. And, we know this is true, because we remember in the beginning of the book, God allows the devil to test him. But, all his friends think the reason he is suffering so is because he has "done something" and is getting what he deserves.

One of the great lessons from Job is that bad things that happen are not always "punishment" from God. If I live an unhealthy life and have a heart attack, I can't blame God. But, in this situation, Job has done nothing wrong, and he knows it. The power of God is that He is able to bring good things out of terrible situations. Today, know that we do bring some misfortune upon ourselves by our lives and our choices, but others are just the results of living in a sinful world. God is not out to "get" you. He wants you to grow and know Him. If tragedy comes, know He is there, and He wants to help. Sometimes we are punished, other times is it misfortune that comes knocking on our doors. In both cases, God is there for us, if we will allow.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 12:1-17

We see that God was working through the lives of these members of the early church to spread His gospel. He had a plan for each of them. There were able to do more through God than they could through themselves. That is one of the miracles of God. He is able to do more with us than we think is possible. Who would have guessed Peter would do all these things when he denied Jesus three times on Good Friday? Yet, there was God, working through Him.

Today, know that God can do great things through you, if you will let Him. If you will get out of the way and let Him work through you, great things will happen. Will you allow Him to work in you today?

Gospel Lesson

John 8:33-47

Today, are you child of God or a child of the devil? Your actions show whose child you are. Today Jesus said those that opposed Him where the children of the devil, regardless of who they said the their father was. The children of God do the will of God and obey God. The children of God are faithful to Him. The children of the devil work against God, are unfaithful, are disobedient. Today, who's child are you? Today, what does our life say about whose child you are?

Monday, September 4, 2006

Sermon Podcasts

You can click here for my sermons from today.

Ordinary Time: Monday, September 4, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Job 12:1-6, 13-25

One of the lessons we learn from Job is that we can take our concerns and hurts to God. God knows what we are going though. He knows when we hurt. He knows when we are alone. He knows when we are angry. Why do we hide it from Him? Why do we not share with God our fears and our concerns? Why do we know God to Him? He knows already.

Job shows us that we must not be afraid of doing that. We must not. The only way we can have peace with God is to be honest with God.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 11:19-30

We see the importance of Barnabas to Paul in this passage. Paul needed someone to believe in him, someone that could help him, stand with Him, love him. Barnabas was that person. He was there when Paul needed him. To whom can you be a Barnabas? To whom can you go to in times of need and stand with them? To whom can you give that hug, that word, that note? You can be there from someone that needs you. Won't you do that?

Gospel Lesson

John 8:21-32

If you continue in my word, you are my disciples. That is what Jesus said. He said if you continue on. Those that continue in Him are His. Today, do you continue? Do you grow? Do you obey? That is how you know your are His. You continue on. Do you do that today? That is what it means to be His.