March 10, 2019
The Gospel of Matthew tells us that our Lord would be called Immanuel. Which means “God with us.” This Immanuel was not some great prophet, not some eloquent teacher, or some pious holy man. He is God in the flesh. He came to us in our sinful condition in order for us to have His sinless perfection. He is our God---always with us.
This majestic glorious God came to us with abundant mercy and grace. He came to live life among sinners, to give us what we never deserved, so that we would never receive what we do deserve. When justice demanded payment, mercy answered.
Jesus could never be our Lord and Savior without being Immanuel. In order to save us He had to become one of us. Fellowship with God was lost by the first man Adam. It was regained by the last Adam, Jesus Christ our Lord!
At the birth of Christ, we see God with us. At the cross of Calvary, we see God dying for us. At the Day of Pentecost our Lord (in the Person of the Holy Spirit) came to live in us. This can never be altered or erased. It is the eternal work of our Lord. Signed, sealed, and delivered in the precious shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thought for today: The measure of a man is not how great his faith is, but how great his love is.
Sermon: Fourfold progression of salvation. I Peter 1:1-5
March 3, 2019
The genealogy of our Lord Jesus comes with one “begat” after another. However, when it comes to Joseph there is no “begat.”
Here the repetition ends. Our Lord is the fulfillment of the first promise in the Bible. He is the “Seed of the Woman”, not the son of Joseph. This seed had been traveling through thousands of years and multiple generations to arrive at the designated time. Our Lord Jesus was virgin-born, implanted by the Heavenly Father in the womb of a young girl by the name of Mary.
Our Lord Jesus was the fulfilment of the very thread that holds God’s Word (the Bible) together. He has the right being both God and man to be both our Lord and our Savior. The virgin birth is the beginning of the one and only hope that creation has, to experience real life. Although there was a lot of grief surrounding the birth of our Lord, if we look close enough, we are able to see God’s wonderful grace. God is forming, molding, and fashioning eternal life bound up in this miraculous birth. The God-man is entering into life and it will never be the same.
There are many things which occupy our minds. Careers, livelihood, education, and so forth. But in the end the only thing that really matters is this: Is your name written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life?” Our Lord told His disciples to rejoice that their names were written down in Heaven. Is your name there?
Thought for today: You should never let adversity get you down—except on your knees.
Sermon: Sending a living hope. 1 Peter 1:1-5
February 24, 2019
The Apostle John tells us, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us “ (John 1:14). This is indeed the greatest event the world has ever experienced. Nothing will ever eclipse this glorious gift. Our Lord Jesus came into this world as the God-man. This means that He was 100% God and 100% man. He exhibited His divine power by walking on water, healing the sick, calming the storm, and rising from the dead. We see His human side by His becoming tired and thirsty. He also felt sorrow and pain.
The omnipotent God of all that exists came into this world as the “seed of the woman” (Genesis 3:15). He came as a tiny helpless baby into a world of sin and disgrace. He did not choose the penthouse or the palace, but chose the lowly place of a stable that He might identify with the poor and needy.
The little town of Bethlehem is associated with the birth of our Lord. Bethlehem means, “House of Bread.” From this we can surely discern the Jesus is truly the Bread of Life. There is no other hope of eternal life other than this God-man called Jesus.
May we as His followers ever echo the immortal words of the Apostle Paul, “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable Gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
Thought for today: Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.
Sermon: The state of the Church. 2 Timothy 3:1-5,13-14
February 17, 2019
Many years ago, a wonderful and glorious light came into this world. The light came through a young peasant girl, for whom there was no room. She found herself without even the decency of a clean sheet or a simple cot. She labored on a bed of straw in a stable for animals. When her child was born (the Christ Child) she wrapped Him in cloths and laid Him in a feeding trough.
Thirty years later this God-man would begin a ministry that would charge the gates of hell. No longer would humanity have to live under the curse of sin. He has given life to the lifeless, hope to the hopeless, and heaven over hell. Eternal life, not death, awaits all the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is still, in this supposed day of enlightenment, the only real and lasting light for this world. No one has to live in the darkness of death any longer. He calls humanity to come to Him and receive everlasting life, joy unspeakable, and a reason for living. If you are not a follower of this God-man, then let me encourage you to come to Him today. One day it will be too late. He is waiting.
Thought for today: You cannot win if you do not begin.
Sermon: Living a blessed life. Isaiah 6:1-8.
February 10, 2019
The only one to be exalted in the Church is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the true leader of the Church, the Rock that shall never be moved. It is He who is able to storm the Gates of Hell. Only He reigns over death, hell, and the grave. It is He who has given you and I the completed victory over all.
That means that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the Church, and we are His subjects. Therefore, we are to obey Him completely. For as the bible tells us obedience is better than sacrifice. He is our leader and we are to follow Him without reservation. He loved the Church and gave Himself for her, and if we love Him we cannot help but love the Church. It is He who gives life and vitality to the Church. Without Him the Church would be no more than another club to join. He is the founder and the sustainer of the Church.
The Church is the divine institution that our Lord established to continue the work He began 2000 years ago. What a wonder she is: She has survived neglect of her members, foes from without, heresies from within, and lies by the onlookers. Yet, the Church of the Living God is still here and will be until her Lord calls her home.
Thought for today: True faith and courage are like a kite. An opposing wind raises it higher.
Sermon: Wonder of the Church. Colossians 1:18
February 3, 2019
There was a lot of heartbreak, sorrow, and grief that filled the family tree of our Lord Jesus Christ. The grief of our father Abraham leaving his homeland and family to go to a land he had never seen. The sorrow of having to send Ishmael, whom he loved, away from the only family he had known. What about King David? He had to see his son die because of his own sin. His son Absalom killed his brother Amnon, and later led a revolt against King David.
Yet all of this pales in comparison to the suffering and grief of our Lord. He left a throne in glory to suffer, bleed, and die for sinners like you and I. His heart was truly broken on Calvary as those whom He loved rejected and crucified Him.
This old world holds more grief than we are able to bear alone. We are never sure of what a day may bring, but we can know Who holds the day. He has promised to bear our griefs and carry our sorrows. Lean on Him. He is a very present help in times of grief and sorrow.
Thought for today: God can heal a broken heart but he has to have all the pieces.
Sermon: Base of kingdom life. Matthew 16:18.
January 26, 2019
Did you know that there has never been, nor will there ever be, anyone just like you? You are a unique individual. There are no fingerprints or DNA that exactly matches yours. You are an important part of God’s creation. You are not just a speck in an ocean of time. Your DNA carried your proclivities regarding disease, intellect, temperament, and many other attributes.
In our modern culture, many people are pre-occupied with their genealogy. Most of us have no idea of the name of our great-grandfather. Nothing is known about his life. Chances are your own great grand- children will not even know your name. After all what really matters is this: Is your life rooted and grounded in the Lord Jesus Christ. This will never be forgotten for it is written down in Heaven.
Our Bible contains many names, some which are difficult to pronounce. Some are great, some not so great. Some of them are poor and some are rich, some shepherds and some slaves, some kings and some harlots. No matter what their genealogy or standing in life, all must come by way of the Cross. Past, present, and future will all one day utter the most powerful words of any language: JESUS CHRIST IS LORD.
Thought for today: Remember that the tea kettle, although up to its neck in hot water, still continues to sing.
Sermon: Kingdom life. Matt. 6:33
January 19, 2019
Some of the most boring reading in the Bible can be found in the seemingly endless genealogies. However, there are four females found in Christ’s family tree that are of utmost importance. They are specific examples of God’s wonderful mercy and grace. In the ancient world women were never mentioned in genealogies. They were viewed as less important than a man.
The first of these is a woman by the name of Tamar (Matthew 1:3). She once dressed as a prostitute, seduced her father-in-law, and had illegitimate twin males. Rahab is the second female in the genealogy of our Lord. She was the town prostitute in the city of Jericho (Matthew 1:5). The third woman was Ruth (verse 5). She was a member of a race that had it’s beginning in incest, worshipped pagan gods, offered their children in heathen worship, and became an enemy of the children of Israel. Last is a woman by the name of Bathsheba (verse 6). She lived in an adulterous relationship with King David, lied to her husband, and birthed a child that was conceived in sinful activity.
How in the world did these four women get into the genealogy of the most perfect sinless one who ever lived on planet earth. This can be explained by only one word: Grace! God’s unmerited love and favor. There is no one whom God’s Grace cannot renew and cleanse if they will only submit to His Lordship.
Thought for today: He who cannot forgive destroys the bridge over which he himself must pass.
Sermon: Lordship defines ownership. I Timothy 6:7
January 12, 2019
Our Lord Jesus came into this world to do the will of the Heavenly Father. He not only comprehended our Father’s will; He came to accomplish it. This is the supreme purpose of our Lords coming to planet earth. He began His journey in a lowly grotto that Thirty-three and a half years later would bring Him to Gethsemane. There He prayed not My will but Thine.
Our Lord did not come into the World to find God’s will, but to do God’s will. His face was always pointed toward Jerusalem. His journey to Golgotha was not to just bring salvation to us, but to do the will of the Father.
Our Lord has left His journey for us to continue. It is His will that we occupy till He comes again. We should be no less faithful in our journey than He was in His. True success in our lives is not just knowing our Lord’s will. It is a willingness to do it. May all of our life’s journey echo the words of our Lord, “Not my will but Thine.”
Thought for today: Life can be understood by looking backward, but it must be lived by looking forward.
Sermon: Lordship determines relationship. Romans 14:9
January 5, 2019
Since 1890, America has celebrated New Year’s Day with the beautiful Tournament of Roses Parade. What a spectacular sight of beautiful flowers. Every inch of every float is totally covered with gorgeous flowers and other natural materials. It is said that each float contains at least 100,000 blossoms.
It is quite a wonderful experience to view all these beautiful floats as they proceed down the streets pf Pasadena. But life itself is not a “Tournament of Roses.” We can be sure that each year contains it’s share of troubles and sorrows. Jesus said, “…In the world ye shall have tribulation…” (John 16:33). The Apostle Paul also tells us, “We are troubled on every side” (2nd Corinthians 4:8a).
There is one thing we can be sure of in this new year. There will surely be times of misery, misfortune, misunderstanding, and mistakes. Yet, in the midst of all this sinful world can bring, stands Jesus our Lord who tells us to come to Him for rest.
God never promised life would always be a “Tournament of Roses”, but He did say He would never leave us alone. As we trust and follow Him we will never be forsaken. Trusting His promises can make 2019 a fantastic year.
Thought for today: 2019 will be successful if you refuse to serve God in an advisory capacity.
Sermon: Four last words. Luke 2:7- Acts 2:36- Philippians 2:11
December 30, 2018
Do you sometimes struggle with doubt and fear relative to your salvation? If so, let me refer you to Paul’s letter to his spiritual son Titus. In Titus 1:2 we read a wonderful truth, “God cannot lie.” Men can! God can’t! We often say God can do anything and everything. However, there are some things God cannot do. God cannot lie, He cannot fail, He cannot err.
Usually Christians think, “Surely this is true because God is too good to lie.” Yet, this is saying that God can lie but He won’t. However, the Biblical fact is, God won’t lie because He can’t.
God’s Word cannot be changed or altered by anything whatsoever. Psalm 119:89 says, “Forever, oh Lord, Thy Word is settled in Heaven.” There is nothing in this earth, below this earth, or above this earth that can erase what God has promised.
If you have invested your God given faith in the Words of your Heavenly Father you are safe and secure forever. Stop worrying and get working! He will keep every promise given. Allow His wonderful truth to set you free from Satan’s attempt at defeat.
Thought for today: Many a good man has failed because he had his wishbone where his backbone should have been.
Sermon: Communion. Matthew 26.
December 23, 2018
As time moves us toward the end of another year, we followers of Christ pause once again to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. Even though December 25th is not Biblical, but of Catholic origin, we can still enjoy this time of remembering our Savior.
Many of those who despise and reject our Lord have tried to take Christ out of our celebration. They are always seeking ways to remove Christ from the word Christmas. They have replaced Christ with the letter X. Too them this symbolizes the unknown. However, the letter “X” of the Greek alphabet is “chi” the first letters of Christ’s name in English. No matter how hard some may try, you just can’t dismiss the wonder and majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is and will always be the only hope for humanity. All humanity is lost and condemned without Him.
May this Christmas season bring a renewed peace and joy in your heart. May each of us catch a new vision of this wonderful Savior who left all the glory of Heaven to become one of us.
Thought for today: Jesus is a friend who knows all your faults and still loves you anyway.
Sermon: He became. I Timothy 3:16a
December 16, 2018
THE WORD OF GOD
Though heart grows faint and spirits sink, by every wind of feeling blown;
Though faith itself may seem to fail, I rest upon thy word alone.
That word of power that framed the worlds, unfailing, changeless, strong, and sure.
Though heaven and earth should pass away, what Thou hast spoken must endure.
Is thine arm shortened, thine ear dulled? What Thou hast sworn, hast Thou forgot?
God of the everlasting years, all else may fail; Thou fail not.
Against the foeman’s fiery darts, I wield anew the Spirits sword,
And answer every fresh assault, with ever fresh “thus sayeth the Lord.”
And when some promised blessing seems too great, too wonderful for me,
I dare by faith to call it mine, with “it is written” all my plea.
Mid shifting sands of doubt and fear, this is the one foundation—stone;
My soul has cast her anchor here; I rest upon Thy Word alone.
Annie Johnson Flint
Thought for today: Don’t live your life in such a way that it’s only benefit is to serve as a warning to others.
December 2, 2018
If asked, most Christian’s would say that God’s word is true. Yet, many are slow to act on God’s promises because they doubt the validity of the Scriptures for the problems and trials of our modern day. They doubt God will do what He said He would when confronted with life’s very real problems. If they were asked, “Do you believe every promise in God’s Word?” They are quick to answer, “ I certainly do!” Yet we are sometimes slow to incorporate the Lord’s teaching into our lives.
How very easy it is to hear an uplifting sermon and mentally affirm it’s truth, but when taken from the realm of theory and put into daily life, how much different it looks. This is the point where many believers make excuses for their unbelief.
The trial of our faith is constantly warring against the subtle attacks of the enemy. We must always be vigilant in casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the promises God has given us. We must rely on the indwelling Holy Spirit God has given each of His followers. We are involved in a great cosmic battle that can be won or lost by the measure of faith God has given each of us.
We simply must choose, even against our own reasoning, to believe in our hearts the infallible promises of the living God. Choose to accept the integrity of God’s Word. It shall never pass away.
Thought for today: Never forget, God grades by the cross, not on the curve.
Sermon: An imagined God. Isaiah 40:18-31
November 25, 2018
The calling of every follower of Christ is to a life of mission. We are here for a purpose, and that purpose is to be an ambassador for our Lord. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to faithfully and boldly share the Gospel so that others may experience God’s love. No matter where life takes us, there will always be the opportunity to share the hope that lies in us. We are God’s representatives through praying, sharing, and giving. There are millions of people in our world who have no knowledge of Christ. We simply must be on mission for our Lord.
Through the many prayers and generous giving of Fair Havens, the message of God’s love is proclaimed throughout the world. As we worship, walk, and win, we fulfill God’s will for each of us. Our praying along with our giving puts God’s words of instruction into practice in our lives.
As we strive to meet our largest goal ever, may we each give sacrificially that others may find the real and true meaning of life on planet earth. We cannot go all over this planet, but we can help to send others. During this season emphasis on foreign missions, will you make it your goal to help Fair Havens meet her goal. I encourage you to remember Luke 6:38.
Thought for today: A person’s true character is revealed by what he does when no one else is watching.
Sermon: Our mission. John 3:17
November 18, 2018
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It blends together all the things that we Christians hold dear without the sham and hypocrisy of commercialism. Shopping centers jump from Halloween to Christmas, from spooks to Santa, pumpkins to presents, orange and black to red and green. Except for grocery stores merchants are mostly silent during Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving highlights the home and family. It symbolizes that which can only be found in kids, grandkids ,reunions, and family activities. It’s turkey and dressing, pumpkin pie, delicious rolls, and a million calories.
It’s a time of quiet reflection on the God who is our provider. The simple and sweet things of life are brought into focus. It deepens and strengthens our faith. It blocks out the awful giant of selfishness, and ushers us into a sincere spirit of gratitude, love, and genuine joy.
My wish for each of us is that we truly benefit from the love, joy, and peace of this wonderful holiday called “Thanksgiving.”
Thought for today: A thankful heart creates a fruitful life.
Sermon: Seven p’s of Thanksgiving. Psalm 92:1
November 11, 2018
Albert Schweitzer once said, “We see no power in a drop of water, but let it get into a crack in a rock and be turned to ice, and it splits the rock; turned into steam, it can drive the most powerful engines. Something has happened to the water that makes active and effective the power within it.”
Just as every drop of water has the potential to split rock or power huge engines, likewise, God’s divine power is available to every follower of Christ to produce Godly qualities when dealing with life’s many issues. Through Christ we can be effective in bringing light to a darkened world. With Christ, we overcome the power of sin and death. As we follow Christ in this fallen and sinful world we will bring hope to the hopeless, salvation to the sinner, and glory to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
Thought for today: Too many churchgoers are singing “standing on the promises” when all they are doing is sitting on the premises.
Sermon: Six events in your forever life. Genesis 2:7,4:1
November 4, 2018
Some unknown author has written some of the greatest reasons for faith using John 3:16:
God ………………………………………………………. the greatest lover
So loved ……………………………………………….... the greatest degree
The world ……………………………………………...... the greatest company
That He gave ………………………………………….... the greatest act
His only begotten Son …………………………............. the greatest gift
That whosoever ……………………………………........ the greatest opportunity
Believeth ……………………………………………….... the greatest simplicity
In Him …………………………………………………..... the greatest attraction
Should not perish …………………………………......... the greatest promise
But ………………………………………………………... the greatest difference
Have …………………………………………………….... the greatest certainty
Everlasting life ………………………………………....... the greatest possession
What a wonderful wealth of information contained in only one verse of God’s eternal, everlasting, unchangeable Word.
Thought for today: The secret to contentment is the realization that life is a gift not a right.
Sermon: Sin of Unbelief. Romans 1:21, Hebrews 3:8-12
October 28, 2018
Several years ago, a circus act featuring Bengal tigers was broadcast live on television. The trainer went into the cage with several tigers for a routine performance, and the door was locked behind him. The audience watched carefully as he put the tigers through their act. Then right in the middle of their performance, all the lights went out! For 20 to 30 seconds the trainer was locked in a dark cage with Bengal tigers, a whip and a chair. The tigers could see the trainer but he could not see them.
After the ordeal was over, the trainer was asked if he had been scared during this fearful time. He said, “I just kept cracking the whip and talking to them until the lights came on. They never knew I could not see them as well as they could see me.”
Have you ever felt you were locked into a situation and feared what was going to happen? Do you live in fear of certain situations? Do you ever feel as if you were locked in a dark cage?
Because of Christ’s victory we have been given the authority over all of Satan’s attacks. You may not be able to see the enemy, but when he looks at you he sees you are God’s child. Whatever your circumstance, stand firm in your faith.
Thought for today: In order to receive direction from God you must be willing to receive correction from God.
Sermon: The deceitfulness of sin. Romans 7:8
October 21, 2018
A class of geography students were asked to choose what they believed were the seven wonders of the world. The following garnered the most votes: Egypt’s Great Pyramid, India’s Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon, the Panama Canal, the Empire State Building, St Peter’s Basilica, and China’s Great Wall. While counting the votes the teacher noticed that one student, a quiet girl, had not turned in her votes. He asked if she were having trouble with her list. The girl replied, “Yes, a little. I couldn’t quite make up my mind because there are so many.” The teacher suggested that she tell what she had and maybe they could help her. The girl stood to her feet and began to read. “I think the seven wonders of the world are to touch, taste, see, and hear…” she hesitated, then continued, “and to run and laugh and love.”
God created many spectacular wonders all over the world, but none more wonderful than mankind, to whom He gave the ability to laugh and love. In a day when human life seems worth less and less, remember that God looks at you with great love and considers you to be of great value.
Thought for today: It’s good to be a Christian and know it, but it’s better to be a Christian and show it.
Sermon: Guest Pastor.
October 14, 2018
Life is truly a matter of perspective. What one values the most usually guides and governs their life. Life is surely influenced by the things valued. What is most valuable in your life?
In the spring of 1996 an auction was held to sell personal items that had belonged to John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. Many of their belongings were originally quite expensive, such as diamond rings and famous sculptures. The surprising thing about this auction was that all of the items were sold for more than they were originally worth.
A set of John Kennedy’s golf clubs, estimated to be worth $700.00, sold for $772,500. A string of pearls worth about $700.00 sold for $211,500. Why? Purchasers considered them of greater worth because of who had owned them. As with all possessions, a price may be set by the seller but the potential owner determines the value.
You and I are the possessors of eternal life and an eternal home in Heaven. Christ emptied Himself of all of the privileges of Heaven and came to Earth to die on a cross. Our perspective should be, since we have been allowed to enter His Kingdom and His Heaven, that we should give up everything. What He has touched is more valuable than all of the Earth’s riches.
Thought for today: A man is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.
Sermon: Indwelling sin. 1 John 1:7-10
October 7, 2018
Many years ago, a very prestigious gentleman’s carriage was bogged down on a muddy road. A farm boy with his team of horses quickly pulled him out.
“Let me pay you for your time and effort,” the gentleman insisted. “No thank you, sir,” the boy answered. The gentleman asked the boy what he wanted to be when he grew up. “I’d like to be a doctor, but my family doesn’t have the money.” “Then I will help you,” replied the gentleman.
Nearly fifty years later another English Statesman was dying of Pneumonia. Prime Minister Winston Churchill had become very ill at a time when Adolph Hitler threatened to destroy England.
His recovery was immediate when Churchills physician injected a new drug discovered by Dr. Alexander Fleming. The drug was called Penicillin.
Dr. Fleming was the young farm boy who pulled the carriage from the mud, and the man who was trapped in the mud was Winston Churchill’s father. His commitment to help this young boy saved the life of his own son, and perhaps the existence of his own country.
We are sometimes made to feel insignificant in this mad hurry-up world. Be encouraged in your faithfulness to God and His Church. It will take eternity to reveal what God has done with the faithfulness of His followers.
Thought for today: Some people complain because God put thorns on roses, while others praise Him for putting roses among thorns.
Sermon: One brick at a time. Romans 5:12,18
September 30, 2018
Many of Christ’s followers seem to struggle with the fact of forgiveness. They have trouble accepting this wonderful truth. When the first missionaries went to Alaska to share the gospel, they found that there was not a word in the Eskimos’ language for “forgiveness.” So they had to put a word together that would make sense to them. This turned out to be a twenty-four letter mouthful that is difficult to even try to pronounce. The word is spelled I-S-S-U-M-A-G-I-J-O-U-J-U-N-G-N-A-I-N-E-R-M-I-K. literally translated into English, the word means “not being able to think about it.”
Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, our sins are forgiven and forgotten as far as God is concerned. Is there a sin in your life for which you have asked God’s forgiveness, but you just can’t seem to get rid of it? If God can forget your sin, shouldn’t you? Don’t allow Satan to impede your walk with the Lord. Through our Lord we are more than conquerors. Even over Satan’s lies. Take the advice of this Eskimo word, don’t even think about it.
Thought for today: Sometimes we become so occupied with our problems we forget to count our blessings.
Sermon: Jude’s advice. Jude1:20-25
September 23, 2018
A man went to his first appointment with his new doctor. He said, “Doc, I just need some help.” “What seems to be the problem?” the Doctor asked. The man replied, “I just don’t have any friends at all. Nobody likes me. I just need some friends! What I want to know is this: Do you think a big, ugly, dumb looking guy like yourself can help me?”
One of the greatest inroads to sin is the tongue. Our tongue can get us into a lot of trouble. The more we know of God’s Word and the closer our walk with Him, the better we are become at using our tongue to lift up others. Many times we are guilty of cutting people down. Try and experiment today. Only speak when you have something worth saying or to answer a question. You may be surprised how much less you talk.
Thought for today: It is better to be silent and be considered a fool then to speak and remove all doubt.
Sermon: Jude’s advice. Jude1:5-7
September 9, 2018
A poor woman came into the local grocery store and asked for enough food to fix dinner for her children. The grocer asked her how much she could spend. The frail woman answered, “I have nothing to offer but a little prayer.” The grocer was neither religious nor sentimental, and he said sarcastically, “Write it on a piece of paper, and I’ll weigh it.” So, she did. The grocer placed the little piece of paper on his balancing scales, then began piling food on the other side. To his utter amazement, the scale would not go down. He finally gave up and gave a large sack of food to the woman.
The grocer never saw the woman again, but he treasures that piece of paper on which was written, “Please, Lord, give us this day our daily bread.”
God always honors those who place their faith in Him—not their selfish expectations, but their real needs. Once we have committed something in prayer through faith, we don’t have to worry about it anymore.
Do you pray more than worry? A daily quiet time with your Lord will help you place your needs and concerns where they should be—at the feet of your loving Heavenly Father.
Thought for today: Be more concerned with what God thinks than what others think.
Sermon: Prophet for profit. Jude 1:11b.
September 2, 2018
Satan wants us to live for the moment and never consider the rest of our life. Don’t even think about the consequences. Just do what feels good. Satan loves to attack the young. Youth sometimes makes foolish decisions which effect their entire life.
Suppose on your 16th birthday you were given a check for 5,000 dollars. However, it came with one stipulation. Whatever was left at age twenty-one, you would receive that amount every month for the rest of your life.
What a blessing! You begin to consider your choices. You could live it up now, but you would receive nothing for the rest of your life. What would be the wisest decision? Very likely, you would put off spending the money now so you could get the benefit of the full amount for the rest of your life.
Many times, people fall into Satan’s sin traps, and are duped into present gratification at the expense of the rest of their lives. Don’t allow Satan’s lies to rob you of life’s joys. Keep yourself pure and faithful to God’s directions and you will be a success in life. Through God’s grace we are all more than conquerors in life.
Thought for today: Those who bring blessings to others cannot keep blessings from themselves.
Sermon: Way of Cain. Jude 1:11a.
August 26, 2018
When James A. Garfield was president of Hiram College, a man wanted his son admitted there as a student but asked special privileges from the president. “The boy can never take all that in”, said the father. “He wants to get through your college quicker. Can you arrange that for him?”
Mr. Garfield, a minister and educator said, “Oh, yes. He can take a short course, it all depends on what you want to make of him. When God wants to make an oak, He takes a hundred years, but only takes two-months to make a squash.
God’s Word (the Bible) is full of wisdom, things that are always true, even more than 2000 years after they were written. Amidst our fast food, microwave, instant everything society, some things take time and are still worth waiting for. The best example is how you are being changed into the image of Christ. God doesn’t make this transformation in two months—He takes a lifetime. Be patient and allow God to make the necessary changes to bring your life in line with His will.
Thought for today: No matter what you do you can’t please some people. So, concentrate on pleasing God.
Sermon: Healing John 9
August 12, 2018
Our Creator created us to both work and rest. Much of the time this fast-paced world seeks to rob us of the latter. It is just as important that we take time to rest as well as work. If we fail to get the proper rest, we will soon find out that we are no longer able to work.
In the deep jungles of Africa, a traveler set out on a long trip. He had high hopes of a speedy journey. He had hired natives to carry his heavy cargo, and they traveled far the first day. But the next morning the natives refused to move. They just sat there as though they were in deep thought. When asked about this strange behavior, they said, “they had gone to fast on the first day, and were waiting for their souls to catch up with their bodies.”
When God created this world we inhabit He rested on the seventh day. In the Gospels Jesus encouraged us to rest. Man was not intended to be a work-a-hol-ic. In this fast paced world in which we live, people seem to think the busier they are, the better, and that activity equals success. God wants us to rest our bodies and our souls. Without rest we cannot do God’s work His way. Is it time for your soul to catch up with your body?
Thought for today: It’s ok to have a great outlook, but even greater to have a faithful up look.
Sermon: Deathbed salvation. Isa. 55:6-7
August 5, 2018
A very sick lady was admitted to Johns Hopkins hospital. Dr. Howard Kelley, the chief surgeon, worked hard to help her. He gave her special care, including a private room and nurse.
Finally, she was well enough to go home. She dreaded getting the enormous hospital bill. Her heart dropped when she read the huge cost of her hospital stay. Then she read a brief notation at the bottom of the bill, and her mind quickly flew back to a hot summer day many years past. A young man selling books, in order to pay his way through medical school, asked for a glass of water. Instead she gave him a cold glass of milk. That young man who knocked on her door that hot summer day was now the chief surgeon at Johns Hopkins. The notation at the bottom of her bill simply read, “Paid in full with one glass of milk.”
At the bottom of our sin list Jesus has written in His own blood, paid in full. When any person (through the drawing of the Holy Spirit) receives Jesus as Lord and Savior his account is credited with the righteousness of Jesus. The only righteousness that a Holy God will accept. Set aside some time in your daily routine to thank Him for paying your bill. IN FULL!
Thought for today: The great challenge of life is to decide what’s important and disregard everything else.
Sermon: How one gets to Heaven. John 6:37,44a.
July 29, 2018
Is evolution really the answer to the origin of life on planet earth? Let’s ask its founder, Charles Darwin. An outstanding Christian woman by the name of Lady Hope, often attended the bedside of the ailing Charles Darwin. She recorded a very interesting conversation concerning his controversial theory.
On one of her visits she said, “He seemed distressed, his fingers twitched nervously, with a look of agony on his face.” He said to her, “I was a young man with uninformed ideas. I threw our queries, suggestions, wondering all the time about everything. To my astonishment, the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion of them.”
After a short pause, “He asked Lady Hope if she would read the Bible at his summer house to the tenants and some neighbors.” Lady Hope replied, “What shall I tell them?” He said, “tell them about Jesus and His salvation, is not this the greatest theme.”
Late in life Charles Darwin discovered the only real evolution. When the Holy Spirit of God convicts and converts a helpless sinner to His amazing graceful salvation.
Though for today: When bad times come, you can let them make you bitter or use them to make you better.
Sermon: Plea from the pulpit. 2 cor. 11:3
July 22, 2018
Birds sleep on tree limbs, yet they never fall off. Why are they able to sleep for hours and never lose their footing. When a bird bends, it’s legs at the knee, the tendons cause the claws to contract and grip like a steel trap. They will not let go until their legs are straightened again. The bended knee gives the bird the ability to hold onto his perch tightly.
We followers of Christ can learn a lot from a sleeping bird. When our knees are bent in prayer to our Heavenly Father, we are locked in to the One who holds all wisdom and knowledge concerning life.
Just as the greatest strength and ability comes from the bended knee of the bird, so it is for the followers of Christ. The bended knee represents a position of prayer. It helps us to hold on to the attributes of God. Honesty, purity, and love. Just a few of His many wonderful traits. Constant communication with God is the key to becoming all he desires us to be.
Prayer allows us to hold on to God Who is holding on to us. Don’t leave prayer out of your life. You and your life will be the better for making prayer an important part of daily life.
Thought for today: Beware of the high cost of low living.
Sermon: Four spiritual laws. James 1:25
July 15, 2018
In the year 1995 the Barbara Walters Show featured the ten most famous people. All of these people but one were famous and well-to-do. Oseola McCarty was an exception. She was 86 years old and still washed clothes for people in her bathtub. She lived in a run-down house in a very poor neighborhood. Yet, this lady had saved over a quarter of a million dollars. She gave her life savings to a college in Mississippi to be used for scholarships for black students. She had never left her hometown until President Clinton had her flown to the White House for recognition. At the conclusion of the television interview, her last words were “It is more blessed to give than receive.” Her words echo the words of the Apostle Paul in Acts chapter 20. She was truly a prosperous woman.
The culture in which we live encourages us to get all we can and keep it for ourselves. Many are working more and more in order to achieve this goal, and question why anyone would want to help the weak and needy. This is not the way of Jesus. As His followers, we are to work hard and give generously. How are you doing in these areas?
Thought for today: In this modern age we all get e-mail, but did you know, God only answers knee-mail.
Sermon: Faithfulness of Jesus—Fickleness of man. John 12:12-13
July 8, 2018
Every day we live on planet earth we have opportunities to make it count. Many of us are familiar with Charlie Waters. He was an all pro safety for the Dallas Cowboys. After retirement, he helped coach the Denver Broncos, then in 1995 he went to help the university of Oregon Ducks. On December the 4th 1995, Cody, the seventeen year old son of Charlie and Rosie waters went to sleep and never woke up. An autopsy revealed no reason for the boy’s death.
Local newspaper articles spoke of the boy’s deep Christian faith. When Charlie would come home after a difficult game, Cody would leave his father a note expressing his love for him. He’d leave scripture notes for his dad to read to help the difficult times. He’d often leave the Bible open highlighting a particular verse.
Charlie’s son lived a very short life. Yet, because of his love and commitment to Christ, he left a far greater legacy than many who live much longer lives. His life honored and glorified the Lord. You may sometimes think that your walk with Christ has little effect. You may even ask yourself if it’s worth going against this modern culture to live for Christ. My prayer for you is that you will follow the Lord no matter what this world says, and that when your life is finished on earth, you will have left a legacy that will glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thought for today: God is looking for men and women whose hearts are completely His. Do you qualify?
Sermon: Jesus of today. Part 2. Revelation 1
July 1, 2018
A motorist was driving down a country road and saw an old man sitting on a fence rail watching the cars go by. The motorist stopped to ask directions and afterwards said, “I don’t see how you strand living around here. You probably don’t see and hear very much. You don’t travel as I do. I’m on the go all the time.” The old man responded, “I don’t see much difference in what you do and what I do. I sit here and watch the cars go by, and you sit in your car and watch the fences go by. It’s all in the way you look at things.”
Many of life’s successes and failures are determined by how we look at things. If we look through the eyes of the world we may only see helplessness, hopelessness, and impossibilities. But if we open and read God’s Word, we can see hope, help, and possibility.
As followers of Christ, we have the opportunity to look at life through the lens of God’s Word. Through the eye of faith we can see much clearer. We walk by faith and not by sight. The things that are seen are temporal. That which is unseen is eternal.
Thought for today: The sermon of your life ministers to others more powerfully than the most eloquent speaker.
Sermon: Jesus of Today. Revelation 1
June 24, 2018
Some time ago I read a wonderful touching story about a father and his son. They were driving down a beautiful country road on a lovely spring day. All of a sudden, a bumble bee flew in the car window. The son who was allergic to bee stings, was terrified. His father quickly grabbed the bee, squeezing it in his hand, and then released it.
The boy grew more frantic as the bee began to buzz around him. The father opened his hand and showed his palm to his son. There stuck in his hand was the bee’s stinger. “Look at my hand son! You don’t need to fear anymore. I’ve taken the stinger out.”
What a wonderful example of what Christ has done for each of us. He has defeated the sting of death by His sacrifice at Calvary. He defeated death through the power of His Resurrection. He bears the marks of sin’s stinger in His own hands. Through Christ, when death calls, life will answer. I would encourage you to read the immortal words of the Apostle Paul in First Corinthians 15:55-57.
The only man made thing in Heaven will be the nail scarred hands, and the spear pierced side of our Lord. They will be there for all eternity. Another reminder of how and why you are in Heaven.
Thought for today: A person’s spiritual health is proportional to his love for God.
Sermon: Communion. Zechariah 3:1-4
June 17, 2018
As a father, endeavoring to follow the Lord, do you sometimes find yourself overcome with uncertainty and doubt. As a follower of Christ, you have many reasons to be confident. God is on His Throne; Christ has risen from the dead; and you are the recipient of God’s Grace. Despite all these blessings we sometimes find ourselves tormented by negative emotions. In this you are certainly not alone.
Even Christ’s most faithful followers are plagued by occasional bouts of fear and doubt. Every life, including yours is a series of success and failure, celebrations and disappointments, joys and sorrows, hopes and doubts.
Those times when you feel distant from God, remember that God Is never distant from you. When you sincerely seek His presence, He will touch your heart, calm your fears, and restore your confidence.
God never leaves us, even for an instant. He is always with us, always willing to help. When we honestly seek His presence, desiring a deeper and more meaningful relationship, He is there to bless and calm your fears. Fathers who faithfully seek the Lord find encouragement and motivation in the struggles of life.
Thought for today: Worry always looks around. Faith always looks up.
Sermon: Praying dads. James 5:16
June 10, 2018
Walt and Ray joined the Army and were away from home for the first time. They became friends during basic training. However, their friendship was soon ended as their orders sent them in different directions. No one would ever have guessed that these two soldiers would become two of America’s greatest visionaries.
Walt who was always drawing, turned his doodles into Mickey Mouse, turned Mickey into a studio, and turned Walt Disney Studios into Disneyland. Before his death, he laid out the plans for Epcot Center and Disney World in Florida. He certainly had vision.
Ray who was selling milk shake machines around the country became the highest paid salesman in the company. One day he pulled into a hamburger stand owned by the Macdonald brothers. They were producing fifteen-cent hamburgers and fries through an assembly line process. The rest is history. Ray Kroc had a vision and Ronald Macdonald is a household word.
Walt and Ray are world famous because they were men who had vision. But, all this will be un-noticed in eternity. Those who had vision to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth will be greatly honored. Do you have a vision to promote God’s good news to whomever?
Thought for today: Holiness is not the way to Jesus—Jesus is the way to holiness.
Sermon: The Cross: 1 Corinthians 1:18-30
June 3, 2018
Jesus said, ”every tree is known by his own fruit” (Luke 6:44). Apple trees produce apples, pear trees pears, and peach trees grow peaches. The fruit the tree produces is determined by the nature of the tree. If you attached an apple to a peach tree that would not make it an apple tree. Neither would it make the apple produce peaches. The fruit of the tree naturally flows from it’s inward nature.
We as followers of Christ are to be living examples of what God can do with a surrendered life. Our attitudes, words, and actions reveal our true nature. What kind of example do we present too those we encounter along life’s journey? Can our friends and acquaintances see the difference Christ is making in our lives? Is the fruit of our life equivalent to the words of our mouth?
Jesus has called us out of the world to be an extension of the work that He began. We are His ambassadors! We are sent into the world, not to show a better way, but the best and only way to eternal life. Jesus, the one and only hope for a fallen creation.
Thought for today: We must stand on the promises instead of just sitting on the premises.
Sermon: Counterfeit. John 8:5-24
May 27, 2018
Three bricklayers, while working on a job, were each asked the same question: “What are you doing?” The first one answered, “Setting a brick.” The second said, “Making a wall.” The third stated, “I’m building a church house.” They all had the same job, but each worked with a different vision and perspective.
The disciples of Jesus were all His friends and co-workers in God’s Kingdom. However, when Peter answered Jesus’ question concerning His identity, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” He entered a new realm in His relationship to Christ and His mission. Simply stated, Peter acknowledged that he believed Jesus was who He said He was. Although Peter still had much to learn, his work would now take on a much broader perspective.
What about your relationship with the Lord? Is He using you to reach your friends and neighbors? Are you a person He can use to change this generation? Are you helping to build His church, His earthly family? Become a part of all He is doing in today’s world. Don’t just sit like a brick when you can be building His eternal family.
Thought for today: Every believer must come to understand that the chief purpose of his/her life is to help make Christ King in the earth.
Sermon: Is there life after life? John 5:24
May 20, 2018
Have you ever wondered why cows after grazing in the pasture lay around under shade trees chewing constantly? Cows are ruminating animals. They have two stomachs. They are able to bring food up from the first stomach, called a “cud”, and chew it over again. This is a unique and essential activity for the cow.
The Word of the Lord (the Bible) is just as essential to the Christian. Read Psalm 1:2. The process of learning His Word is a necessary continuing part of the Christian life. It is unique to His followers. The word, “ruminate”, means to go over in the mind repeatedly and often. If we like the cow have grazed in the pasture of God’s Word, we can ruminate on God’s promises and provisions at any time.
Make God’s Word central in your life and commit scripture verses to your memory. Then God’s Word can be on our mind day or night. As we train our mind to remember God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will help us to apply it to all of life’s situations. In your daily quiet time with the Lord ask Him to give you a hunger for His Word. You will find life’s problems are a lot easier to deal with. He is a very present help in time of trouble.
Thought for today: A great rule for life is to always be a little more kind than necessary.
Sermon: The Question of All Questions Luke 9:18-20
May 13, 2018
Mother’s Day in America is held annually on the second Sunday of May. There are many different concepts as to the value of Mother’s Day. Many see Mother’s Day as a time for profiteering. Gift and flower shops do a tremendous business during this holiday. Restaurants in their pursuit of profits often double their prices during this holiday. They have learned to profit from the love and respect shown to mothers.
After only a few years Mother’s Day had become so commercialized that it’s founder, Ann Jarvis, became a major opponent of what the holiday had become. She spent all of her inheritance and the remainder of her life fighting Mother’s Day abuse. Before her death, she said, “…she wished she had never started the day…
As Christ’s followers, we of all people should know and recognize the priceless value of mothers. Mothers mold and shape through unselfish love the lives of their children. They are more precious and needful than the finest gold or silver. Mothers have changed the course of nations. Israel may have been defeated had it not been for the Quaker mother of Richard Nixon. Had it not been for the prayers of God fearing mothers, America could very well have lost to Adolph Hitler. Thank God for mothers.
Thought for today: Keep up the good work mothers. Sow God’s seeds. Harvest is coming.
Sermon: A great mother Luke 2:41-52
May 6, 2018
For fifty-one years Bob Edens was blind. He could see nothing. Then one day he was examined by a skilled eye surgeon. The surgeon performed a complicated surgery and Bob could see. Bob was overwhelmed. He marveled at the beautiful colors he could now see. He spoke of the shape of the moon and loved to watch the jets as they left their smoky trail in the sky. He marveled at sunrises and sunsets. He was amazed at the night’s starry skies. He exclaimed, “Everything is so wonderful!”
Bob was excited and amazed seeing God’s creation for the first time. Much like the Psalmist David, who in Psalm 8:3-9 spoke both of the creation and the creator in wonder and amazement.
Following Jesus gives us a new perspective concerning life. Our eyes are opened to the truth. God’s divine surgery has removed Satan’s darkness. We, like Bob, see everything through a new set of eyes. The blinders have been removed, and we see what God has created. We meditate on the wonder and beauty of God’s creation. We are able to see clearly what God has done for each of us through His Gift of Salvation. As we follow Jesus we, like John Newton, can say, “ I once was blind but now I see.”
Thought for Today: Something never heard at church: “Hey! It’s my time to sit on the front pew.”
Sermon: Unfortunate Discovery. Luke 16:19-31
April 29, 2018
Many years ago, a boat was wrecked in a storm on one of the Great Lakes. Rescue teams were sent to help, including a team of Northwestern University students. One of the young students rescued sixteen people from the sinking ship. When he was carried exhausted from the scene, he could only ask, "Did I do my best?"
Years later at a class reunion, one of the speakers recalled this young man's act of heroism. Someone called out that the young man was present in the audience. He was invited to come forward. As he made his way to the podium in a wheel-chair the assembly cheered and applauded. The speaker asked him if there was anything he remembered about that day. "Only this", he replied, "of all those people I saved, not one of them thanked me."
There is a similar occurrence recorded in the Gospel of Luke chapter 17:11-19. Jesus healed ten lepers, yet only one returned to thank Him.
Humanity suffers from a deadly disease called sin. Doomed to a place called Hell for all eternity. Jesus has saved all who will receive Him from this dreadful place. Have you ever thanked Him for all He has done for you? Take a few minutes out of your daily life and thank Him. He earned it!
Thought for today: If your Bible is falling apart, chances are your life is staying together.
Sermon: Seven editions of God's Law. Psalm 19:7
April 22, 2018
A Los Angeles motorcycle patrolman pulled over a red pickup that had just run a stop sign. As the officer walked up to the driver’s side, the driver pulled out a gun he had just used to rob a local convenience store. He fired the gun knocking the officer to the ground.
Seconds later, the criminal was shocked to see the officer stand up, pull his revolver and fire twice wounding the robber in his left leg. The thief screamed, “Don’t shoot!” throwing his gun and the sack of money out the window.
What saved the officer’s life was dozens of layers of Kevlar, a super strong fabric in bullet-proof vests. This three-eighths inch thick fabric can stop bullets cold.
In this evil age in which we live, most officers wear bullet-proof vests as a standard part of their uniform. Failure to wear their vest could cost their life.
The same is true of the Christian’s spiritual armor. The enemy is always waiting to attack. God has given His armor that we may defeat Satan’s attack. We have everything we need to win life’s battles. Put on your armor. You can read about it in Ephesians chapter six.
Thought for today: It’s ok to be content with what you have, but never with what you are.
Sermon: What Jesus means to me. Philippians 1:21
April 15, 2018
A little four-year old girl began asking her parents if she could be alone with her newborn baby brother. Her parents were skeptical, afraid she might hurt him in some way. As time passed they saw no sign of jealousy in the girl, so they changed their mind. The little girl was elated. While her parents secretly watched, they saw the four-year old walk quietly up to the baby’s crib, put her face close to his, and say, “Baby, tell me what God feels like. I’m starting to forget.”
For the most part little children are helpless. If they are uncomfortable they cry until someone responds. They are normally very open and receptive to those who love them. In the same way, we as God’s children must realize we are helpless against sin. We must be open and receptive to God’s remedy for sin. Even though you may have been a Christian for many years, have you forgotten what it feels like to be in His presence? No matter your age you are still His child. You may at times act very independent, but the fact is, you need to become more and more dependent on the Lord and His remedy for sin.
Thought for today: If discouraged with life try singing “Amazing Grace.” It can lift your spirit for hours.
Sermon: Godly and ungodly. Psalm 1:1-6.
April 8, 2018
Sir Isaac Newton constructed a miniature replica of our solar system, and a scientist friend (who denied the existence of God) saw the replica and asked Newton who had made this magnificent replica of our solar system. Newton replied, “Nobody!” His friend was indignant. “You must think I am a fool. Of course, somebody made it.”
Newton’s response was quick and to the point. “This replica is but a puny imitation of a much grander system whose laws you and I know, and I am not able to convince you this mere toy is without designer and maker; yet you profess to believe that the great original from which this design is taken has come into being without designer or maker. Now tell me, by what sort of reasoning do you reach such an incongruous conclusion?”
Our loving God did not create the world and the leave. He has revealed Himself to each of us through the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is holding everything together. He has put a lot of detail in creating the universe. He took the same care in creating you. That’s just one of the many reasons you are so special to Him.
Thought for today: Love is a great investment. No matter whom you give it to, it returns great dividends.
Sermon: Rejoice. Philippians 3:1-14
April 1, 2018
The physical bodily resurrection of Christ is the most important event that ever happened on planet earth. Without the belief in the bodily resurrection of our Lord the Christian faith could not have survived through these many centuries. The disciples of Jesus would never have continued the work Jesus began. They would have been crushed, defeated, and forgotten. Those who loved Him would continue to remember His teaching, but the crucifixion would have silenced any hope of His being the Messiah. The cross would have been the end of all Jesus came to accomplish. The origin and continuance of Christianity hinges on the fact of His bodily resurrection.
The empty tomb is not the final proof of Jesus’ resurrection. When Jesus appeared to His disciples He pointed to His body as proof of His resurrection. The truth of Christianity is based on the bodily resurrection of Christ. Jesus rose in the same physical body that was crucified and placed in Joseph’s tomb. His body was a literal physical body, and proves the validity of the resurrection. The hymn writer says it so well, “He’s alive and I’m forgiven! Heaven’s gates are open wide!”
Thought for today: Making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
Sermon: Resurrection: Truth or lie.
March 25, 2018
The often-quoted phrase, “No man is a island” is not without merit. Studies show people who communicate and associate with others, live longer than those who choose a solitary lifestyle. Meeting new people and establishing new friends challenges us to become accountable. It motivates us to involvement in the lives of others.
The culture in which we live has for many years promoted smaller families. It makes it easier to conquer, divide, and control. The number of cousins used to be 20 to 25. Today it’s about four. Smaller families lead to less people with whom a close relationship can be established. The technology of our culture (television, telephone, internet and such) has played a huge role in relationships.
The Church can serve as a deterrent to the lack of meaningful relationships. The Church offers many opportunities to connect with people, and be a part of something meaningful and worthwhile. Statistics tell us that people who attend Church live longer lives. So, stay in Church, and as Spock would say, “Live long and prosper.”
Thought for Today: It’s better to not wait for a crisis to discover what’s important about life.
March 18, 2018
Adam Clarke worked as a clerk in a prestigious store in London selling silk to well-to-do people. His employer showed him how to increase profits by stretching the silk as he measured it out. Young Clarke, who would later become a Bible expositor, looked his employer straight in the eye and said, “Sir, your silk may stretch but my conscience won’t.”
The Apostle Paul, throughout his letters, often mentioned the importance of having a clear conscience. In Acts 24:16 Paul defends himself concerning accusations made against him by the Jews.
The people and culture of our day are more and more ignoring their conscience. Following the Bible’s direction will enable us to honor Christ and aid others in coming to a knowledge of the truth through Jesus our Lord. Maintaining a clear conscience involves asking and receiving God’s forgiveness for our sins, as well as confessing to others when we have hurt or let them down. Having a daily time with God is of utmost importance in maintaining a free and clear conscience. Don’t neglect this wonderful privilege.
Thought for today: If you put your problems on the back burner, they are sure to boil over.
Sermon: The Lamb. John 1:29
March 11, 2018
A young man surrendered his life to become a missionary to Africa. He later was told that his wife’s health would not survive the African climate. Heartbroken, he returned home with a determination to give all he could for the spreading of the Gospel. His father had begun a business of making non-alcoholic wine for communion service. The young man joined with his father and created a prosperous and successful business. From this he was able to give hundreds of thousands of dollars to world missions. The young man’s name was Welch, and his family still produces many fine products.
This young man could have gone home and given up on missionary work. He could have allowed failure to determine his destiny. Instead he gave his life’s work and money to God. He was unable to become a missionary, but he enabled and helped the work of many missionaries.
work needs people like you and I to support His mission work. We have a golden opportunity through our convention and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering to aid and support those God has called to become missionaries. We may not be missionaries, however we can all give. Whether we work at a fast food restaurant or CEO of a huge corporation, we can all give and become partners with God in His great missionary work.
Thought for today: A Christian will never regret being too generous, but will often regret not being generous enough.
Sermon: More precious than gold. Psalm 19:9-10
March 4, 2018
A loving pastor kept a book on his desk called, “Complaints of Members Against Other Members.” When someone came to tell him of the faults of another member, he would say, “I’ll write down your complaint in my book and you can sign it, Then when I have to officially deal with it I’ll know exactly what you said.” It always had the same effect. “Oh no! I couldn’t sign anything like that!” was the usual response. The pastor kept the book for 40 years and never had occasion to write one single complaint in it.
The condition of our heart goes hand in hand with our relationship to others. God takes it very seriously. In First Corinthians chapter 13, Paul outlines in detail the kind of relationship we should have with others. Paul makes it clear that as Christ’s followers we keep no record of wrongs. Do you have a complaint book in your heart of the wrongs that have been done to you? If you do, would you give God your book today? He will know what to do with it.
Thought for Today: A full life is not determined by how long you live, but how well.
Sermon: Hope for the World. Isaiah 11:1-9
February 25, 2018
The Theory of Evolution is to me, not only ridiculous, but defies common sense. If mankind evolved from lower life forms, then why have we lost all the exceptional traits of these lower life forms? While retaining only the weaker traits. It would seem that this fact alone refutes the Theory of Evolution.
Consider the beautiful red-breasted robin. This bird has such a keen sense of hearing that it can detect an earthworm crawling underground, while I spend an hour digging for worms in order to go fishing.
Consider the mighty eagle. He can see a rabbit from thousands of feet in the air, and yet I need glasses too read a book only a foot away from my face.
There are birds that fly thousands of miles without a compass, and return to the exact same spot they left six months earlier. While I need a map and clear road signs to navigate from place to place on planet earth.
The answer to all of this is that God created each species with it’s own unique characteristics. He gave mankind the greatest ability of all, to do what no animal can. Mankind can both experience and tell of God’s amazing grace. Don’t allow the unproven fallacies of our world to rob you of this great and wonderful blessing.
Thought for today: Honesty in little things is no little thing.
Sermon: Does prosperity bring maturity? Psalm 105:17-19.
February 18, 2018
The Titanic began its first and last journey on April 10, 1912. The ship was advertised to be “the ship that God couldn’t sink.” This luxury ocean liner was four city blocks in length. It had many lavish suites, and all the latest safety devices. Yet, there were only 20 lifeboats for more than 2,200 passengers.
This great vessel had the best that money could buy. However, this unsinkable ship hit an iceberg and in two hours and forty minutes sank in the cold ocean waters. A total of 1,523 people lost their lives in the worst shipwreck of modern history.
The truth is, this great ship wrecked days before ever hitting the iceberg. The crew had failed to heed the repeated warnings of dangerous ice. They had been advised again and again of the danger they faced. They ignored all messages.
The God of creation has left mankind a book with many warnings. It’s called the Bible. Failure to heed its message will lead to certain destruction. Life lived apart from God’s direction, like the Titanic, will surely have an undesirable ending.
Thought for today: A person can have an extensive education and still not be wise.
Sermon: Do you love Him? John 21:15-17
February 11, 2018
There is no human effort, resource, or connection that can free humanity from the deadly condition and moral infection of sins power. Unless rescued, humanity dies in trespasses and sins regardless of any attempt to the contrary. Unless a person experiences the intervention of a loving compassionate God, life will spiral down to death and judgement.
The most wonderful news is that Jesus has bridged the gap of sin through His cross. He sacrificed Himself for each of us. It is not that Jesus is the best hope. He is the only hope! Jesus has done for us what we were unable to do for ourselves.
The simplicity of the cross is offensive to much of today’s empirical culture. This lack of humility comes from a reckless abandonment of God’s indictment. James 4:6 says, “God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.” His saving grace is not a universal pronouncement, it’s an “whosoever will” declaration.
Thought for today: Whatever you are constantly thinking about, you are becoming.
Sermon: Genuine followers. John 21:22
February 4, 2018
Many people view God’s commands as an intrusion into their lifestyle. They don’t want to be hindered by anyone or anything. They seek pleasure and gratification of self above all else.
Ivan McGuire, a skydiving photographer, died at the age of 37. His death was not the result of an auto accident or terminal illness. He was not the victim of a criminal act. He simply failed to put on his parachute before jumping out of the airplane.
McGuire was an accomplished jumper. He had jumped some 800 times and aspired to be the best in his chosen career. However, he forgot one basic rule. In his excitement and preoccupation with the other photographers he failed to check and recheck his equipment.
God has given us a book (the Bible) filled with instruction and commands concerning life. God’s desire is that we be successful in life’s journey. His commands are an expression of His great love for each of us.
Ivan McGuire plunged to his death because he ignored the most basic rule of all. God does not make rules to keep us from enjoying life. Quite the contrary. He knows what is best. Don’t leave God out of your life, it’s a fatal mistake.
Thought for today: If you want the circumstances of life to change for the better, you must change for the better.
Sermon: How to be just with God. Job 9:2
January 28, 2018
It is written that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the infamous Sherlock Holmes, was a great practical joker. In one of his practical jokes he sent identical telegrams to twelve of his friends. The message read: “All has been discovered. Flee at once.” Within 24 hours all twelve men had fled the country.
There may be things in your past that you are ashamed to recall. Consider if you will, the Apostle Paul’s advice in Phil. 3:13, …“Forgetting those things which are behind.” Paul surely had a lot to forget. He was responsible for the death of many of Christ’s followers. He was tenacious in his fight against the Gospel message. If Paul was going to be useful to his Lord, he had to let go of the past. Just as in Paul’s life, our Lord desires to do a great work in and through each of us. Whatever is in your past, turn it loose and press on toward the prize. Mark Phil.3:12-14 in your Bible, and when Satan brings up your past (and he will) remind yourself (and him) of this liberating scripture. There are no perfect saints! Only forgiven ones! Take up your cross and follow Jesus. It leads to life eternal.
Thought for today: When things go wrong you don’t have to go with them.
Sermon: Contagious. Matt. 4:18-22
January 21, 2018
A preacher encountered a boy carrying a beat up old birdcage containing several ugly birds. He asked the boy what he was going to do with the them, the boy replied, "I'm going to have some fun with them and then feed them to my cats".
The compassionate minister asked the price of the birds. The boy said, "you don't want these birds, they're ugly and can't even sing". The minister persisted and purchased the birds. He immediately opened the cage and set them free.
Like the above story, Satan has trapped a world full of people. His plan is to entice them to fight and kill one another. He wants to condemn them to an eternity of suffering. He thinks they are no good, ugly, and worthless.
Jesus asks, "what will you take for them?" Satan replies, "you don't want them, they are worthless: they will just spit on you and eventually kill you". "How much", says Jesus? Satan replies, "all of your blood and life: that's the price". Jesus paid the price, took the cage, and opened the door.
Today Heaven's gates are open wide and all who receive Jesus and become His followers find freedom. Are you free?
Thought for today: You can forget your wrongs if you will remember Christ's kindness.
Sermon: Salvation. Ephesians 1:4
January 14, 2018
What is so wonderful about this man we call Jesus? What makes Him different from all others? Since the fall of Adam, wickedness has ruled, and mankind would not return to God. Also, spiritual death ruled and mankind couldn't return to God. Man had become unholy and unable to stand in God's presence.
The wonder of Jesus is that since man couldn't go to God, He would come to us in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The old covenant of Israel forbade man to enter God's Holy place. Jesus broke this barrier and opened a way for mankind to be reconciled to God.
It is man who must be reconciled to God and not God to man. The incarnation of Jesus means that God is with us and always available. Jesus is the manifestation of God's loving grace. We could not and would not reach up to Him so He came to us. He came to save us from an eternity of death. Yes, this makes Him the most important and precious One who ever lived!
Thought for today: The desire for the material will always lessen the freedom you have.
Sermon: First and last Adam. 1 cor.15:45
January 7, 2018
Many well intended resolutions will be made for the coming year. However, they usually pass into obscurity with the passing of time. It is my prayer and hope that in this new year we will adopt into our lives Paul's statements in Galatians 2:20.
Paul speaks in this wonderful verse of a life relinquished to Christ. "I have been crucified with Christ." Paul was dead to the world, the flesh, and the devil. Like Paul, may we be determined to turn away from sin as we take our stand at the foot of the cross of our Lord.
We also learn from this verse about an exchanged life. "It is Christ that lives in me", says Paul. None of us can live the Christian life in our own strength. Apart from Christ in us there is no hope of resisting temptation. As we exchange our life for His we become victorious over sin’s power, penalty, and presence.
Finally, we come to understand the secret of Paul's success. It was a life of trusting in which he lived "by the faith of the Son of God". Through our faith, we have victory while living in this fallen world. We are told repeatedly in the Bible to trust in the Lord. May 2018 be a year of complete trust in He who holds all in His hand.
Thought for today: If you depend on others to make you happy, you'll be endlessly disappointed.
Sermon: Success in 18.
December 31, 2017
America celebrates the new year each January first with the Tournament of Roses Parade. Each float is covered with thousands of flowers. It is said that each float contains approximately 100,000 blossoming flowers. An amazing display of beauty and elegance.
However, life itself is certainly not always a tournament of roses. Life is filled with a plethora of trouble, sorrow, and heartache. We are never sure what a new year will bring. Yet, we can rest assured that our Lord is already aware of every situation. Our Lord is a very present help in times of trouble, and is totally able to turn darkness to light.
The Lord has not promised us a life filled with roses, but He can turn a pile of compost into beautiful roses. This new year that is before us will certainly bring some roses, but it will also bring some thorns as well. So, let us be determined in the coming year to fully trust and obey the Lord whom we serve. He is aware and concerned about the burdens and infirmities associated with living on planet Earth. May this new year bring us to a closer relationship with the One who holds all in His hands.
Thought for today: A strong code of ethics is as reliable as a compass.
Sermon: Food for the spirit. John 4:31-38.
December 24, 2017
The minor prophet Micah tells us that the Messiah and Savior for all mankind would be born in the little obscure town of Bethlehem. There were two Bethlehem's in Israel in those days, one in Zebulun, and the other near Jerusalem. The one near Jerusalem was called Ephrathah. Micah speaks specifically, noting the smallness of this town.
One would think that such a great and miraculous birth would take place in a large city such as Rome, Alexandria, or even Jerusalem. But He came to this little town of Bethlehem, and Micah(this small town prophet)was chosen to reveal the birthplace of mankind's only hope for real life. We sometimes think bigger is better, but little is much when God is involved.
Micah said, "...His goings forth have been from old, from everlasting"(Micah5:2). Our Lord's conception in Nazareth and His birth in Bethlehem was not the beginning of His existence. He has always been, without beginning, the eternal Word of God. Read John 1:1.
Thought for today: It takes a lot more creativity to find out what's right than it does what's wrong.
Sermon: The Birth. Luke 2:1-14.
December 17, 2017
Since we are created spirit, soul, and body it would seem obvious that worship should involve all three. The Psalmist says, "I will lift up my hands in Thy name"(Psalm 63:4). The Apostle Paul says, "I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands..."(1 Tim.2:8).
Communication can be expressed in ways other than the tongue. A baby with outstretched hands expresses love and trust to a parent. A Signer speaks to the deaf through the use of the hands. According to the above scriptures we are to lift our hands in praise and worship of our Heavenly Father.
Worship brings a consciousness that there is a God who is high above us. Many years ago the Russian Cosmonaut said, "He hadn't seen God in space" implying that God did not exist. We are not deceived by such pathetic statements. Worship allows us to see and know that God exists, and that His promises are unending and unlimited. Our Lord is above all, possessing a super abundance of loving kindness. So we lift our hearts and our hands in worship to our creator and redeemer.
Thought for today: Our culture is obsessed with attractiveness, but did you know that a smile makes everyone attractive.
December 10, 2017
The success or failure of any church is totally dependent upon worship. Worship is related to worth. In fact, worship could be called worth-ship. The Bible is saturated with the call to worship. The God we serve is surely worthy of worship. He has commanded us to worship Him.
Have you ever wondered just where God lives? The Psalmist tells us that God lives in the praises of His people. As we praise Him in our worship His presence is known and felt. Our worship must be conducted in a way that invites His presence. Anything that does not contribute to worshiping as He directs is to be abandoned. We must not limit our worship to tradition or adopt the ways of the world.
As a congregation, we will never become so accomplished at worship to say or feel as though we have arrived. There will always be much to continually learn as we worship our Heavenly Father. May our hearts be filled with His presence, and our lives full of His praise.
Thought for today: If someone says something untrue about you, live so that no one will believe it.
Sermon: Three aspects of Communion. 1 Cor.11:24-25.
December 3, 2017
The wonder of worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ is not just a head trip, mystical experience, or emotional outburst. It's the whole person spirit, soul, and body coming before the presence of Holy God, desiring the Life of His Spirit to inhabit our existence.
Our spirit is only regenerated when we are spiritually connected to the Eternal Spirit of our Lord. We can then worship with a renewed mind, coming to a greater knowledge of the One whom we worship. Our emotions are given to us to use in the praise and worship of our Lord. We must never allow our pseudo-sophistication to rob us of passionately praising our Savior.
We must always acknowledge both the wholeness and holiness of worship involving spirit, soul, and body. God wants all of us in His worship and service. With our spirit, we communicate with God, with our mind we are able receive and obey His direction, and with our body we become His instruments in serving His causes on planet earth. Our entire being is to be a spiritual sacrifice to Him.
Thought for today: Hate becomes a boomerang even if it's never acted out.
Sermon: No harvest unless...Luke 10:2
November 26, 2017
The many Religions of our world are often associated with learning secret words, doing mystical things, and initiation into ritual activity. This type of pseudo worship is very appealing to the flesh and to those who seek an elite position.
God's ways and purposes are not revealed only to those having elite positions, but to those who fear, honor, respect, and obey Him. The followers of Christ are privileged to know His will in all of life's ups and downs. We know the One who knows all things.
God's master plan for all the ages is revealed through covenant with the God-man, that plan is Jesus! There are no secret formulas or magic words to learn. The God of the Bible has revealed Himself in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. His followers have a new covenant relationship which rests on His completed work at Calvary.
The revelation of this new covenant comes to those who are willing to walk by faith, trust through life, while continually confessing the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him only is life. All else is only death.
Thought for today: In journeying through life one should never confuse success with usefulness.
Sermon: "Harvest" Matt.9:35-38
November 19, 2017
Sandwiched between witches, goblins, haunting, and a red suited white bearded fat man is the often overlooked American holiday called, "Thanksgiving". Mostly neglected and forgotten. A day of feeding the face with turkey and dressing and other goodies. Gorging with little thought of thankfulness.
As Christ's followers we should lead the way in being thankful. We are admonished by the Scriptures to be thankful. We of all people should be the most thankful. Thankful that we have been redeemed from the curse of the law. Thankful that in the midst of a world filled with evil and chaos, we have the peace of God that passes understanding. Even though we are unaware of what tomorrow will bring, we know who holds tomorrow. We must never forget that we have been given eternal life, an eternal home, with the eternal God.
May each of us not only in this season, but every day of our life be cognizant of all the many blessings our Lord has bestowed on all His followers.
Thought for today: Being crafty can make a living, but being thankful can make a life.
Sermon: Thankful. 1 Thess.5:18
November 12, 2017
What does worshiping God have to do with ordering our conduct and behavior? When we praise and glorify our Lord through worship it brings connection. It is we who gain the great benefit of worship. Our worship does not make Him any more honorable or valuable. He is never insecure or of less worth whether we worship Him or not. He is the infallible God, needing nothing to sustain Him.
When we worship and praise our Lord, something wonderful begins to happen in our hearts. We are spiritually changed and shaped through His influence upon us. He begins the shaping and cleansing process of making us into vessels of honor and value that could never happen apart from Him. His loving influence evokes a right conduct none can achieve otherwise.
Through our Lord’s influence we can live a life that will glorify Him, renew us day by day, and mold us into a Christ-like image. This is a lifelong process which should be happening to us each day. What a wonderful privilege, being made into a people whose conduct and walk ascribe glory, praise and honor to the Lord.
Thought for Today: If you don’t control your attitude, it will control you.
Sermon: Excuses. Luke 14:16-20
November 5, 2017
There is no concept or thought more profoundly wonderful than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is the most real of all reality. Our supposedly all wise culture makes the grave mistake of thinking that only what can be tasted, and felt is real. This is the very foundational point of humanity’s deceived confusion.
The Bible shows us how we can avoid such confusion concerning reality. It shows that the very essence of the heavens and sky speak of our Lord’s glory and reality. The world is our Lord’s and it testifies of and about Him. We are never more in the realm of reality than when we recognize and ascribe all to Him.
When we come to worship we are acknowledging and honoring our Lord as the realist of the real. Our worship is real when we honor and praise Him for all He is and all He has done. Is the Lord more real to you than anyone or anything? If this is true you are a worshiper.
Thought for Today: If your goal in life is the pursuit of happiness, it may elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, being a friend, and doing your best, happiness will find you.
Sermon: Looking Unto Jesus. Hebrews 12:2
October 29, 2017
There’s a lot of activity substituted for worship in today’s Christianity, A sort of forced joy that generates religious dishonesty, Actions which can cause others to feel inadequate. True worship may at times result in overflowing joy and happiness through emotional feelings, Yet, true worship always requires brokenness, and brokenness does not always bring a feeling of euphoria.
King David would surely qualify as a worshiper of God. However, after his sins of adultery and murder he came to realize the sacrifice that God really desires: all one needs is a broken heart! What is a broken heart? It’s a tender spirit that recognizes and admits the terror and pain.
We gather each Sunday for worship of the God we serve. Yet, we may sing the songs of Zion, pray sweet sounding prayers, and speak worshipful words which mean nothing to God without a broken heart. A broken heart is what God has wanted all along. Will we worship today?
Thought for Today: It’s a weird world. The strong take from the weak, the clever take from the strong, and the government takes from everyone.
Sermon: The Threefold Jesus. John 1:1-4, 14; Genesis 1:1; Phil. 2:5-11
October 8, 2017
The American Bible Society recently conducted a study of the 100 most Bible-minded cities in America. The questions asked were," How often Bible was read, and their belief concerning it's accuracy?"
The top five Bible-minded cities are:
The least Bible-minded cities are:
96. Buffalo,New York
97 Cedar Rapids/Waterloo,Iowa
98 Providence,Rhode Island/New Bedford,Massachusetts
Source: Facts & Trends Southern Baptist Convention
Thought for today: Before you give someone a piece of your mind, be sure you can get by with what you have left.
Sermon: Petition---Psalm 6
October 1, 2017
There are a great number of assemblies that exist under the umbrella of the word "Church." Many are built upon the foundation of the teachings of men. The Church that the Bible teaches and promotes is founded upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are a number of basic fundamental truths that describe the Church that our Lord died for, and rose again to establish. The first being that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and is the guide for all Church activity. This Book (Bible) teaches that God is a Trinity with Three existing as One. Another most important truth is the person of Jesus Himself. He was born through a virgin, died for the world's sin, rose from the dead, and is coming again. Salvation comes only through the finished work of our Lord and can never be accomplished through the works of men. The Church must never forget that Heaven and Hell are real eternal destinations, and that all humanity will exist at one of these two places. The Bible does not teach that death is the cessation of existence. The Church must never forget or abandon these eternal principles.
Thought for today: Eagles on dollars are proper and right because they symbolize swiftness of flight.
Sermon: Defiance Psalm 2
September 24, 2017
As believers we recreate the Passover scene when we gather for worship at Communion service. It becomes a public show of God's Lamb sacrificed for our sin. It's the visible table of Christ that bears witness of our fellowship with Him. We should all have our private times of worship with our Lord. Yet, nothing can take the place of this periodic celebration with Christ and other believers.
In contrast to the original Passover in Egypt, we have been given the very Lamb of God. The Communion table not only reminds of our Lord's sacrifice, but we are also aware of our union with one another. We have become the Family of God. The Church has now become the Holy Ground of God.
Celebration of Communion service should bring forth praise and adoration of our Lord. We must never allow our celebration to become a morbid memory, dull routine, or ritual habit. One day our Lord will gather the saved of all ages to a Heavenly Banquet. Will you be there?
Thought for today: If all the world's a stage, it's about time for a new act.
Sermon: Is the Church necessary? Hebrews 10:24-25
September 17, 2017
Do you ever entertain feelings of loneliness? Do you ever feel as if no one cares, and there is no one with which you can share your feelings? Some folks feel so isolated and alone that they feel God has abandoned them as well. We can rest assured that God personally knows and loves each one of us. In fact, He knew and loved us before we were ever born.
Jesus established His Church (His Family) of believers in order to combat loneliness. The truth of the matter is that we need one another. We need each other to help us become what we are to be. Thru the Church we touch the lives of fellow believers. We have been reborn. Yet, we are in the process of being rebuilt. We were not created to live just for ourselves. The Church is our Lord's marvelous one another plan.
It is God's will that our lives be irrevocably integrated in the trials, troubles, and blessings of others. All who withdraw from this purpose of our Lord will be the poorer for having done so.
Thought for today: The mayor of a small town said, "We are planning a new jail soon, and expect to be in it by the end of the year."
Sermon: Will everybody be saved? Luke 13:23-30
September 3, 2017
The Psalms are the songs of praise and worship to the Almighty God. They reveal an attitude of unfathomable greatness concerning the God whom the Psalmist worshiped. Even though he was compassed about by a plethora of pagan gods, he continually extols the greatness of his God in spite of all the other inferior little gods about him. He is careful to point out that all others (little gods) are liars, and that his God towers above all of them.
The Psalmist saw God as one deserving of worship. God has not changed! He still desires, and yes, deserves our praise and worship. Worship is not mindless activity coupled with gibberish. Genuine worship is always mindful of God's attributes. Our minds must be constantly aware of His omnipotence. He is all powerful! Also, our minds should dwell on His omnipresence. He is everywhere, always present, inescapable. There is no place to hide from God. Meditate on His omniscience. He knows all there is to know now and forever. The attributes of God may at times seem to boggle our mind, but they are very real and true. When our mind is fastened on these awesome attributes we will possess an attitude of worship. God will be pleased and we will be blessed.
Thought for today: It is hard for a child to live right if he has never seen it done.
Sermon: Life---a journey to eternity. Matt. 7:13-14
August 27, 2017
Many feel that all things that relate to life must be going smoothly before worship can happen. When reading the Psalms (certainly used for worship) we find songs of joy and happiness, but there are also songs of grief burdened sorrow and heartache.
Life is filled with many ups and downs, troubles, trials, and failures. Yet from the Psalms we see that worship is appropriate in every circumstance of life. Worship and praise of our Lord allows us to break through life's troubles and come to understand that God does really live in our hearts. No matter what we may be experiencing, worship allows us to know God is there.
God is sovereign over everything, and through worship we understand that this Mighty God lives in and cares for His people. Worship and praise to God opens up the throne room of our heart where God is pleased to dwell.
Thought for today: The collapse of character often begins on compromise corner.
Sermon: Life. Job 14:1-2
August 13, 2017
The most important part of daily life is the time we spend with our Lord. It's the key to success. This success is not fame and fortune. It's an inner peace and contentment that comes from putting God first in your life.
If there is a desire for spiritual growth, then it begins with a daily relationship that leads to obedience to His will. Spiritual growth does not happen by accident. It comes from a willful choice of seeking to obey your Lord.
Any discipline requires time. There are many ways to spell love. One of these is T-I-M-E. Time spent with our Lord is the greatest evidence of our love for Him. It is a true test of our love for our Savior.
As you spend time with your Lord it will begin to effect everything you do. Your relationships, your attitudes, and your reactions. It enables you to see all your situations from the Lord's point of view. It's surely worth the time.
Thought for today: If you couldn't get another Bible,what would yours be worth?
Sermon: Cosmic war. Ephesians 1--6
August 6, 2017
When considering worship, we may at times feel unworthy of being in the presence of The Holy God. Feelings of disgust with ourselves because of repeated failure. For sure there is a vast difference when we compare our holiness to that of God. Yet, there is much more to worship than we may think.
From one standpoint, it is correct to feel that we are too sinful to worship in the presence of a Holy and Righteous God. But let us ever be mindful of the cleansing power of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have been washed in the blood of the Lamb! Reflection on our sin brings overwhelming defeat, but we must always be cognizant that we have been cleansed; enabled too stand in the presence of The Holy God, not through our own righteousness, but Christ's.
We have all been stained through the filth of sin, yet we have been enabled to stand before Him in the completed and accepted righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ. We can worship in holiness through the finished work of our Lord. Hallelujah what a Savior!!!
Thought for today: People with one track minds often have derailed trains of thought.
Sermon: One and only way. 1 cor.2:1-8
July 30, 2017
True worship involves becoming a teachable person. One who looks up to God in openness and truth. In order to be open to God, there must be a willingness to abandon self-made traditional concepts and listen to God's voice.
Sometimes this means a new place for worship. Not a physical place, but a new place in our hearts. Surrendering the whole heart to God is the core of all worship. Nothing is to be withheld. True worship transforms our values. We come to the realization that we are bought with a price, and all that we are and possess belongs to God.
Through worship we come to understand God's demands on our life are not because He needs anything. It is to free us from their control. Only when we truly worship do we draw close enough to God to fully understand His true nature and loving heart.
Thought for today: Seven steps to stagnation: " It costs too much. We tried that before. We never done it that way before. We're not ready for that. That's not our responsibility. We're doing alright without it. It won't work."
Sermon: Always remember--never forget. 2 Peter 1:15
July 23, 2017
In America, we are blessed with the privilege to worship as we please. We should always be grateful for this freedom. However, biblical worship is on God's terms and not ours. Psalm ninety-five is a call to worship. Yet, it says nothing of our rights. It calls us to bow down in submission and obedience to His will. It means we are giving up our right to worship as we please; that in worship and life we surrender our will to Him. Through this act we are granting to Him the right to dictate how He will be worshiped.
In Genesis chapter twenty-two God appointed a time and a way for Abraham to worship. He is told to take Isaac to Mt Moriah and offer him as a sacrifice. What! This was a pagan practice which God hated. Through Isaac Jesus would come. This seems ridiculous! Yet, Abraham obeyed and thus experienced true worship. Abraham demonstrates the true meaning of worship: total surrender of our will to God's.
Thought for today: One good thing about golf--a man does not get into any holes he can't get out of.
Sermon: Grace through faith. Ephesians 2:1-10
July 16, 2017
Is there a time in your busy day when you commune with your Lord? A time alone with your Heavenly Father, the scriptures, prayer and meditation? This is the way we come to a greater knowledge of our Lord and learn that He can be trusted in all areas of our life. It is the foundation of all spiritual growth.
The reason you and I are on planet Earth is because our Heavenly Father desired to have an earthly family. In order for a family to function properly, there must be communication. Your “quite time” with Him enables and empowers you for your role in His family.
The time you spend with the Lord does not have to be long or complicated. The main thing is consistency. In fact, just keep it simple. He desires to be included in your life on a regular and daily basis. Avoid high sounding words and flowery speech. It’s not necessary to try to influence Him. His great love for you has already accomplished that.
Thought for today: It’s a great deal easier to make a mistake than to unmake one.
Sermon: Ministry. 2 Corinthians 4:1-7
July 9, 2017
As followers of Christ, we gather on Sundays for public praise and worship of our Heavenly Father. This brings pleasure to Him while also allowing Him to bless us. He certainly deserves our praise and worship, but He also delights in it. He calls for our praise and worship, not because He needs it, but through our worship He can bless each of us. This does not mean that we cheapen worship, seeking only His blessing. It’s simply that true worship has a built-in blessing. Worship opens the portals of Heaven and rains down His abundant riches.
In fact, the act of worship changes a person into that which he worships. God knows that worship has the awesome power to transform the worshiper. For instance, if a person worships materialism, they will ultimately become materialistic. Their lives governed by a worldly mindset. Similarly, worshipping the god of sensuality reduces a person to a degenerate lifestyle. But in contrast, worshiping the Holy and Righteous God will make a person a more grateful and holy individual.
Thought for today: If you want long friendships, develop a short memory.
Sermon: Dry Brooks. 1 Kings 17:7
July 2, 2017
In chapter four of Mark's Gospel he gives us a parable describing four types of soil. He tells us that the good soil is emblematic of one who hears His words and brings forth fruit.
Do we fully understand what Jesus is saying? He is telling us that there is much more to following Him than just an intellectual understanding of His words. Memorization of God's Word is of great value if it leads to a relationship. His desire is that we come to know Him. There is a vast difference between knowing about Christ, and having a personal relationship with Him. This can be easily seen as we consider the results of this parable.
How can the soil of our hearts be better prepared to know our Lord in a deeper and fulfilling way? Obviously, we need to reserve time for study and meditation of God's Word (the Bible). One of the best (often unused) tools is prayer. Simply put, prayer is just talking to God. Share your heart with Him, for
He really cares for you.
Thought for today: It's possible to possess too much. A man with one watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.
Sermon: God--a stranger in America. Jer.14:7-9
June 25, 2017
As a follower of Christ, what is the current level of your walk and devotion to the Lord Jesus? In the book of Revelation, we are told of a contented church. A church with lots of works, but very lacking in faithful commitment. A very wealthy Church with increased possessions, but very deficient in faith that pleased the Lord. A Church (in its own estimation) which had need of nothing. Yet, Jesus said they were “wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17).
Jesus had some scathing words for this contented Church. He called them “lukewarm.” He threatened to “spew them out of His mouth.” These words literally mean to vomit. What causes the physical body to vomit? Most likely, because it has ingested something incompatible to its well-being, and the only recourse is rejection.
The point the scripture is making is that Jesus rejects anything that has a form of godliness but ultimately rejects His direction and control.
Slogan of our current culture: Once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.
Sermon: Communion Service. Mark 14
June 18, 2017
Being a father is certainly an awesome task. It involves many things, one of which is being a dad. It encompasses everyday life, doing and saying the right things for the family.
There are some very important techniques a father should use in being a dad. One is being complimentary. Look for (don't invent) ways in which you can compliment your children. Self-image is often acquired from a wholesome father image.
Another important aspect of being a dad is to make good use of time. Make sure to allocate time to spend with children. Read, pray, and play with your children. The time a father spends with his children creates a bond not easily broken.
As a dad your encouragement is of great value. Read and memorize bible verses with your children. Help them to store God's word in their heart through which they will control sin. Assign chores for your children, this will be a great help in dealing with life's responsibilities.
It is the responsibility of fathers to pass down to their children an awareness of God. May the Heavenly Father of all truth and goodness bless you in this responsibility.
Thought for today: Children take heart when given their father's.
Sermon: Fathers pleasing The Father. John 8:28-29
June 11, 2017
If you have done much shopping in the last few years, and paid with a twenty dollar bill, you have seen the counterfeit detecting marker used by many merchants. It's obvious there are a lot of fake twenty dollar bills in circulation. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that is filled with fakery.
Just as there are lots of twenty dollar bills floating around, there are many counterfeit teachings concerning Christianity, and it is not always easy to recognize them. However, a careful and regular study of God's Word (the Bible) will allow a person to spot a counterfeit. The better student you are of God's Word the keener will be your insight. We must always be attentive to what is said as well as what is not said, and that which is taught is being lived.
Jesus put a strong emphasis on fruit bearing. A good tree bears good fruit, and so a corrupt tree bears corrupt fruit. Always take a close look! Be very watchful! A tree cannot always hide what it is, so be careful and wise by relying on God's Word of Truth.
Thought for today: In life one eventually learns that there is a speed limit in the pursuit of happiness.
Sermon: Faith that remains. I Corinthians 13:13
June 4, 2017
The Bible is filled with instruction to help the reader better understand God’s simple plan of salvation. It gives an overall view of life from beginning to end. The Bible adequately reveals two eternal destinies for mankind. The Bible allows us to understand that man is an eternal being. Man’s existence is never ending. He will exist somewhere even after this body falls in death. The Bible’s use of the word “death” means separation from, not cessation of existance.
The Bible is very clear that the only cure for separation from God lies in the God Man, Christ Jesus. Through Adam, humanity acquired a debt of sin that no human could pay. God, in the person of Jesus Christ, came into the world and paid that debt. All who choose to receive this debt relief become free from sin’s penalty, power, and presence. The life of God has been freely given to all who choose it. Are you alive today?
Interesting Fact: Proctor & Gamble’s first major product was ivory soap, invented in 1879. Its name comes from the Bible passage found in Psalm 45:8 which refers to “ivory palaces”.
Sermon: Gold of the Bible. Psalm 19
May 28, 2017
The Bible, a most precious and instructive book. It reveals to us the mind of God, the condition of man, the way to salvation, the doom of unbelievers, and the joy of believers. It is a holy doctrinal book whose precepts are binding, histories true, and decisions immutable. Reading brings wisdom, belief brings safety, and practice brings holiness.
The Bible directs, comforts, and supports through all of life's issues. It is a spiritual road map leading to eternal life. It teaches us how to open the gates of Heaven, and close the gates of Hell. Christ is it's subject, holiness it's design, and God's glory for it's end. Read it often and prayerfully allowing it to fill your memory, rule your heart, and guide your walk.
The Bible is a goldmine of spiritual wealth that guides us to Heaven's riches. It is given for instruction through life, and will be opened at judgement. It is an everlasting book which will never disappear from existence.
Read it often and prayerfully. You and your journey through this old fallen world will be far better. Read! Read! Read!
Interesting fact:How fast is fast? You've probably heard of a nanosecond, a billionth of a second. Yet one second can be divided into a trillion picoseconds. a quadrillion femtoseconds, and a quintillion attoseconds.
Sermon: Three don'ts. Philippians 3:12-14
May 21, 2017
Jesus, our forever Savior, always welcomes us into His presence. He does not live behind some heavenly impenetrable wall. Through His grace, He welcomes us to live with and for Him forever.
When Jesus walked on planet Earth He made Himself accessible to all who choose to come to Him. Through His unending mercy, He touched many lives. He healed the sick, cleansed lepers, and even raised the dead. He is still in the business of raising those who are dead in sins and trespasses.
Jesus is still present with us today, accessible to any and all who hunger for God's love and acceptance. He graciously invites all to bring their burdens to Him. He is the great burden lifter. Through His grace we can live near Him, close to His heart, and secure in His great love.
Thought for today:If you share your brother's burden, both of you will walk straighter.
Sermon: Fishing. Matthew 4:18-22
May 14, 2017
Today we celebrate the contributions of mothers. The culture in which we live is in a colossal mess. Thank God for the many faithful and loving mothers who are rearing their children in the admonition of the Lord. It is surely a challenge in this divisive culture in which we live.
The New Birth comes with spiritual gifts that are to be used in the service of our Lord. Mothers have the unique opportunity to help and encourage their children in the use of these gifts. Gifts that are to be used in the worship and service of our Lord.
Mothers should reflect a lifestyle of faith when rearing their children. Helping them to know that they can take life's troubles to the Lord. Showing that faith is much more than just a word, it is a way to live. Faith banishes fear! Faith is the dynamite that blows up all the false beliefs permeating our culture.
So mothers, be encouraged. Keep up the good fight of faith. Be assured that this labor will bring exceeding great reward for you and your children. You have the full support of this church and pastor. Thank God for you! May you be blessed on this your day.
Thought for today: Men have taught us to fly through the air like birds; to swim through water like fish; but mothers teach us to walk on earth like men.
Sermon: Difficulties of motherhood. I Kings 17:8-24
May 7, 2017
Bless you Fair Havens for your great love for missions. You have again exceeded your goal for Annie Armstrong Easter offering. Your sacrificial efforts reveal your loving obedience to our Lord's command to go into all the world.
Missions is still the great concern of our Lord. He set the example, when there was no one else to send He came Himself. He came to us when we were refusing to come to Him. He is constantly sending messages to all who will choose to listen. The Heavens (Zodiac) declare His message to the whole world. His voice sounds through every language. He is a God of missions!
Our Lord uses His Church to propagate and support His missionary work through men and women He calls. If you desire to please Him, then faithfully support missions through His Church. We as His followers are all called to support missions.
Thank you Fair Havens for a job well done! Remember,"... the Lord loves a cheerful giver"(2Cor.9:7).
Thought for Today:The easiest shoes to fill are loafers.
Sermon: Choosing Another. Acts 1:12-26
April 30, 2017
The daily news cast reminds us that we are living in lawless and dangerous times. Every day seems to bring news of some devastating catastrophe, and it seems little can be done to counteract such lawless events. These lawless times remind us of the words of the Apostle Paul: "In the last days, perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, thankless, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good. Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
All of the above evils are certainly prevalent in the culture of our day. It would seem that our world is fast approaching the days of Noah, of which Jesus spoke. As the world continues it's rebellion against God, there will only be more lawlessness.
The only hope for this world lies in the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. If ever we needed an awakening, it is now. Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!
Thought for the day:You can't learn very much by listening to yourself all the time.
Sermon: Lifestyle. Ephesians 4:17-32
April 23, 2017
We are to respond to God's love with an open heart that loves the children of God. God showed His love by sending His son Jesus to save us from sin's penalty. If we truly love God we will accept and follow His directions.
Humanity owes a sin debt that it cannot pay, so God in the Person of Jesus entered this world to pay a debt He did not owe. He came to Earth and was willingly out to death by crucifixion in order that all humanity would have the opportunity to find real life. Even though humanity was undeserving, Jesus still sacrificed Himself for lost sinners.
It is now up to each individual to choose to live for Christ. Jesus lives on planet Earth today through those of us who allow Him to live through us. We must love and serve Him as He has loved and served us. We must be His eyes, ears, and feet as long as we live here on Earth. God works through people to bless people. Will you choose to make your life a blessing to others?
Thought for the day: The straight and narrow way has never been closed for repairs.
Sermon:Mega-Faith. Matthew 15:21-28
April 16, 2017
The wonderful truth of the Resurrection of Jesus has been proclaimed for centuries. It has been shared by both men and women who suffered untold agonies as they were burned at the stake, fed to the lions, and suffered through Satan's attempts to destroy the way to salvation. The Bible tells us of what Christ has done for us. We are told that Christ in us is the hope of glory. That greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. When Paul preached, he didn't look for new truths; he preached the death and resurrection of our Lord.
Jesus was never found guilty of any fault or failure. Yet, He died for sin. He died because that was His mission. He died that the world would have the opportunity to live. Through His death and resurrection, sin has been conquered and it's power defeated. The enemy death has been abolished and man has been given the right to stand victorious in His wonderful resurrection. We have a hope that springs eternal. Jesus lives!
Thought for the day: Anyone interested in truth should keep an open bible.
Sermon: Redeemer. Psalm 49:15; Galatians 4:4-5
April 9, 2017
Have you ever wondered what the disciples were thinking when they saw Jesus bound and led away for trial? Some of the disciples knew that Jesus was the Son of God. His mother Mary knew. The Angel Gabriel told her. Peter knew, the Bible records his confession at Caesarea Phillipi. Even the demons recognized Jesus and bowed in submission to His commands.
So what was the force that bound the Son of God and humiliated Him before this evil crowd? What power was so great that it could crucify the Son of God? What caused the Son of God to allow Himself to be spit upon, slapped and beaten, crowned with thorns, and abused like no other had ever been?
There is only one explanation for such a travesty of justice. It was the chains of love that caused the innocent Son of God to give Himself over to such suffering. He loves us so much He was willing to die in our place and take the punishment for humanity’s sin. What words can explain this love? There are none! Who is capable of this type of love? Only Jesus! Have you experienced His love?
Thought for the day: Sign on Church Bulletin board: Read the Bible---it’ll scare the Hell out of you.
Choir Presentation: Mighty to Save.
April 2, 2017
We do not know what a day may bring. Life can be going great and suddenly there is an explosion of trouble. Even though we are followers of Christ, we are not free from the troubles that come through the world,the flesh,and the Devil. However,we can rejoice in the knowledge that each day is one our Lord has made,and we can depend on Him through it all.
We who are saved know that our lives are directed by the Lord,and everything that touches us touches Him. Our problems do not go unnoticed by our Lord. Many times folks allow their problems and trials to misdirect their faith and confuse their thinking. We must always keep our lives centered in Jesus,and not the sinking sand of worldly wisdom.
Thought for the day: Wise men admit their mistakes, fools defend theirs.
Sermon: What is man/who is Jesus. Hebrews 2:5-18
March 26, 2017
As a person journeys through this world he/she must choose the path they will follow. The spiritual path or the worldly path. The spiritual path,governed by the Holy Spirit, advances us in the ways of the Lord. The worldly path,walking after the desires of the flesh, leads to following Satan's worldly system.
We as believers are to constantly follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and the instructions given in God's Word(the Bible). Our chief focus must be to fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. When our focus is on Jesus we are walking in the light,and refusing the darkness of this world.
A walk that relates to the ways of the world is incompatible with our Lord. Each person must choose which path they will walk. The spiritual path leads to eternal life. The worldly path leads to separation from God and eternal death.
Thought for today: Some folk's weakness is the strongest thing about them.
Sermon: A religious zealot. Acts 26:13-19
March 19, 2017
Are you experiencing daily problems that seem to much for you too deal with? Are they so heavy you just can't seem to cope anymore, and you don't know how you will get through another day? No matter how huge our problems, God is greater!
We live in a culture that promotes being strong, big, and independent. Yet in fact, we are really small. A realization of this truth opens up a whole new way of living. It shows us that there is One who is greater than all, and He is always there to help. He is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. He knows what is happening before it ever does. It is He who gave life and He who sustains life. Through Grace He has saved us and will keep us no matter what issues come our way.
All power and authority resides in our Lord. Everything is under Him. We are small but God is huge and all powerful. Whatever problem you are dealing with, give it to the Lord. He is more than capable.
Thought for today: It was so much easier when there was just good and bad. Today there are too many options in between.
Sermon: Pouting Prophet Jonah 4:1-11
Fair Havens Baptist Church in Powell, TN
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord -2 Cor. 4:5