Monthly Archives: January 2012




1.  Are you happy?  What is happiness to you?

  a.  World’s definition: Fame, fortune, glory; self-satisfaction (we must not confuse the pleasures of sin with genuine happiness; sin destroys happiness, Prov. 13:15.

  b.  God’s definition:  1 Pet. 3:10-12 (Matt. 5:3-12).

2.  God wants us to be happy as He defines it, Eccl. 3:12-13; 9:7-9.

3.  Jesus is our way out of unhappiness & despair.



  A.  Happiness: A State of Mind, an Attitude of Heart (Prov. 23:7).

    1.  “…having, showing, or causing a feeling of pleasure, joy, etc.; glad,” Webster.

    2.  Happiness is an attitude of heart; not just an emotion.

    3.  Christian should be the happiest person on earth because his thinking should be right (forgiveness of sins, One in whom to trust, promise of eternal life, hope…), Jno. 14:1, 27; 16:22; 2 Cor. 6:10.

    4.  But, faith can weaken (faith’s contentment & trust is tested).

  B.  To Build a Happy Life, Build Faith in God.

    1.  Set your hope on God, Heb. 13:5-6.

    2.  Happiness is learned by trusting God, Phil. 4:10-13.

    3.  Count your blessings, Eph. 1:3 (Phil. 4:4).


    -(Each has its place, but none bring ultimate satisfaction.)

  A.  Pleasure, Eccl. 2:1-2.

    1.  Prov. 14:13:  Even laughter may contain sorrow.

    2.  Pleasure does not last; therefore, it cannot ultimately fulfill (Heb. 11:25; Lk. 12:19).

    3.  7:2-4:  Tends toward not properly assessing life & the future.

  B.  Material Things (wealth, possessions), Eccl. 2:8-11 (Lk. 12:15-21).

    1.  4:7-8:  Tends to isolate & make one suspicious of others.

    2.  5:10-11:  No satisfaction to lover of money – Increased anxieties (1 Tim. 6:10).

    3.  Great possessions, yet great sorrow, Matt. 19:21-22.

  C.  Wisdom, Eccl. 2:12-17.

    1.  2:13:  While better than foolishness, to trust in one’s wisdom is foolish, 1 Cor. 3:18.

    2.  2:14:  Death still comes; Human wisdom doesn’t save us.

    3.  8:16-17:  Divine wisdom needed – 1 Cor. 1:21.

  D.  Labor, Eccl. 2:18-23.

    1.  2:18-19 (Lk. 12:20):  Whose shall they be?

    2.  2:20:  Elements of despair; 5:13-17 (its fruit does not last).

    3.  Work is good, but not the source of ultimate happiness, 1 Ths. 4:11-12.

    4.  Don’t let your work consume you…Regret it.

  E.  Success, Eccl. 4:4-6.

    1.  4:4:  Often envied by others.

    2.  While trying to be successful we must learn to be content with what our labor provides, 1 Tim. 6:6-8.

  F.  Fulfilling Desire, Eccl. 6:7-9.

    1.  When our desire rules us we are never satisfied.

    2.  “Bird in the hand worth two in the bush.”

    3.  Desires must be godly; controlled by contentment, Phil. 4:11-13 (sufficiency, enough).


  A.  Fear & Obey God, Eccl. 12:13 (Acts 10:34-35).

  B.  Address Sin in God’s Way.  (Acts 2:41-42)

    1.  Sin destroys happiness by destroying one’s relationship with God (the source of joy).

    2.  Despair of sin turned into joy of salvation, Acts 16:27, 34.

  C.  Seek First the things of God, Matt. 6:33 (1 Pet. 3:10-12).

  D.  Pray Often, 1 Jno. 5:14 (Confidence in prayer; power, Phil. 4:4-7).

  E.  Count Your Blessings, 1 Tim. 6:7-8.

      -Measure the good things in life & rejoice in them.

  F.  Patient Faith (“wait on the Lord”), Isa. 40:27-31.  Always trust God – He always cares for you (1 Pet. 5:7; Heb. 13:5-6).



   God wants you to be happy as you live for heaven.  Be happy by obeying God & trusting Him in all things; walk with God, Psa. 128.

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Posted by on January 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


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“Crossroads of Life”


1.  “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”  (Yogi Berra)

2.  We all stand at crossroads during our lives:  The paths we choose have life-changing effects (“Road Less Traveled”, Robert Frost).  Psa. 25:4-5

3.  Choices:  Josh. 24:15; 1 Kgs. 18:21; Jer. 6:16; 7:23-24; Matt. 7:13-14.

  a.  We become a product of our decisions:  Shape & mold us.

  b.  Choices of service; who / what we will follow; values; goals…

  c.  Our choices have eternal consequences.

4.  Prov. 4:26-27 – Ponder the path of your feet; avoid evil; choose right.


I.  THE PATHS BEFORE US Jer. 6:16 (42:3).

  A.  The Highway of Holiness Isa. 35:8 (difficult way, Matt. 7:14).

    1.  Path of life – Psa. 16:11.

    2.  Paths of righteousness – Psa. 23:3.

    3.  Paths of the Lord – Psa. 25:10.

    4.  Path of Your commandments – Psa. 119:35.

    5.  Every good path – Prov. 2:9.

    6.  The way of goodness – Prov. 2:20.

    7.  Right paths, Prov. 4:11.

    8.  He will teach us His ways…walk in His paths – Isa. 2:3.

    9.  The way of the just is uprightness – Isa. 26:7.

  10.  The way of peace – Isa. 59:8.

*11.  Choice:  Make straight paths for your feet – Heb. 12:13.

  B.  The Way of Destruction Matt. 7:13 (broad way).

    1.  The path of sinners – Psa. 1:1.

    2.  Devious paths – Prov. 2:15.

    3.  The way of the fool – Prov. 12:15.

    4.  The way of the unfaithful (transgressor) – Prov. 13:15.

    5.  The way that seems right – Prov. 14:12.

    6.  The way of the wicked – Prov. 15:9.

*  7.  Choice:  You should no longer way this path, Eph. 4:17.



  A.  Will You Obey the Gospel & Become a Christian?  (2 Cor. 6:2)

    1.  Do you know you are a sinner?  Do you want to be saved?  Do you know only Jesus can save you? 

    2.  Which path will you take? – Acts 2:36-38, 41; 4:4; 8:35-39; or… Acts 13:45; 17:32

  B.  Will We Live in Sin or Above Sin? – Eph. 2:1-2; Rom. 6:1-2, 4-6

    1.  Moral crossroads:  1 Pet. 4:1-4.

    2.  Will we befriend the world, or God?  Jas. 4:4

    3.  Will we live under punishment or in eternal life?  2 Pet. 2:9-10; 1 Pet. 2:9-12

  C.  Will We Pay the Price it Costs to be a Disciple of Jesus?  Lk. 14:25-33

    1.  Will we choose truth of the gospel before:  Loved ones?  Personal advantage?  Promotion at work?  Pleasure?  Leisure?  Favor of others?

    2.  Self-denial at great personal sacrifice? – cf. Ezra 10:1-4

      a.  cf. MDR e-mail:  Repenting of an unlawful remarriage.

      b.  Repent of every sin!  (Cf. Corinthian church at crossroads:  2 Cor. 2:9; 7:9-11)

  D.  Will You Remember God when you are Young Eccl. 11:9-12:1

    1.  Your clothing, entertainment, respect for parents & elders?

    2.  Choosing your career:  Will you be a faithful Christian & promote righteousness?

    3.  In the person you will date & marry?  1 Cor. 15:33-34; Matt. 19:6

  E.  Will I Endure to the End Matt. 10:22; Heb. 10:36 (12:1); 2 Tim. 4:7-8

    1.  Don’t rest on past accomplishments to insure your present & future spiritual state.

    2.  When I get feeble in mind & body will I still do what I can?  (2 Cor. 4:16-18; cf. Psa. 71:16) Tit. 2:2-3



1.  Psa. 139:23-2423  Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;  24  And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.

2.  Jesus is the Way who guides our feet on the way of peace, light & salvation – Jno. 14:6 (Lk. 1:79; Jno. 8:12).

3.  Which road will you take?

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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


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   “Beloved,God Expects Us to Think”

According to a well-known American philosopher, “A man full of faith is simply one who has lost (or never had) the capacity for clear and realistic thought” [H.L. Mencken]; another one said, “What has religion to do with facts? Nothing” [Robert Green Ingersoll]; and “Star Trek” creator and producer, Gene Roddenberry, said, “For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain.” This is what the world thinks about people like you and me, who believe in God, that Jesus Christ was real, that He was indeed the Son of God, and that he came down to earth from heaven and died for our sins. According to these men, we are mindless idiots who are incapable of reasoned thought and wouldn’t know the difference between black and white, up from down, or left from right. Keep in mind, though, that God has said something about these men, too (cf. Psalms 14:1). The world, as it is, will never see eye to eye with God, and they never will (I Corinthians 1:20-31; 3:19).

You might be surprised to learn, though, that some professing believers do not think much more of you than these philosophers! A recent sad event involving a formerly-sound brother in Christ exemplifies the attitude of some who believe we should alter the doctrine of Jesus Christ to appease the denominations; during the course of events that led to his abandonment of the truth, he and his cohorts accused any who stand for truth as those unwilling to think, who blindly followed “tradition”, and who are incapable of reading God’s word, weighing it against other passages, and coming to a sound, reasoned conclusion without the help of someone else. Some have plainly stated that anyone who believes and teaches something that happens to agree with the conclusions of many men who have preceded them is guilty of teaching “tradition” rather than Scripture – accusations that are more insinuation than actual facts.

The attempts are but mere smoke and mirrors and the old “dog and pony show” that is thrown up to deflect criticism of what they are actually teaching. No character assassinations are needed to “ruin” them; they are committing spiritual suicide when they purposefully leave behind the principles and commands of our Lord for a false hope of some other doctrines our Lord did not teach. May God be merciful enough to allow them time to come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil before it is too late.

Contained within several of these men’s accusations is the charge that “we” [those in the church] are not thinking, but merely following someone else who did the thinking for us. The attempt is to paint the picture of what we follow as “traditions of men” unworthy of belief and, once successful in that, they then try to convince us that they are the only ones who have really been “thinking” and what they teach is a “new approach” to the Bible that is very much unlike what “we” are doing. [i.e., “My way is right and yours is wrong.”] It seems much of their effort is made to convince us this is the case, because their writings sure are not convincing. A short read of some of these men’s writings shows logical and Scriptural errors galore, with quite a few assumptions, presumptions, and arrogance thrown in to top it off. I’d caution all to be very wary of any man who says everything you ever learned is wrong and, at the same time, argues that everything he says is right! One does not have to resort to derogatory insinuations about someone else’s doctrine if he really has truth; truth is strong enough to stand on its own.

But let us not simply pass over these slanderous accusations of this supposed lack of thinking. Maybe you are not insulted by that, but I am and you should be!

First of all, I think it is a sad view of brethren to accuse the church, as a whole, of being unwilling and incapable of thinking on their own.

Second, I just do not believe it is true to say that everything we believe and teach is the doctrine and traditions of men; I daresay very little, if any, of what we do is “tradition” and much of what I do see as “traditional practices” fall in the realm of indifferent matters that I have never in my life heard brethren make out to be more than a local practice or just something that the brethren in one particular location do in a particular way. That fact is, the things these men are trying to label as “tradition” are really based on reasoned study, interpretation, and application of Scripture, and the only way they have around that is to slander and falsely accuse adherents of ignorance and arrogance. That method will forever be used by false teachers who have no leg on which their doctrines can stand.

But God does expect us to think. When Jesus commanded the apostles to go preach the gospel to every creature, He followed that up by saying, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). Jesus expected that those who heard the gospel could use their brains and weigh the evidence presented by the apostles and come to a logical and sound conclusion. He expected it, for He said we will be either saved or condemned based on our response to it! John wrote about the miracles of Jesus and plainly stated that it was enough evidence to convince us Jesus was the Christ (John 20:30,31); friends and brethren, it takes some thinking to read those things and come to that conclusion, but it can be done! God is not so harsh that He would give us incomprehensible words and then demand that we use our brains to figure out what could not be solved or understood. God expects us to think!

God also tells us, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (I John 4:1). God expects us to not blindly accept and believe everything that comes along, but that we should “test” the spirits of men to see whether they are of God or of the world. Jesus said earlier, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:15-20). Is it coincidental that the very next thing Jesus says is, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21)? I think not!

You see, Jesus expects us to be able to look at what a man is doing and what he is teaching and make a sound and reasonable judgment as to whether it is of God or not. Jesus expects that we will be able to tell the difference between truth and error and we will be judged for having done [or not done] just that. But how will we be able to judge rightly? Will it always be clear and evident? No, sadly, many times it will not be so easy to distinguish between truth and error, but not because we cannot know and understand truth! Oftentimes, it is our own lack of desire to know the truth that stands in the way of understanding spiritual truths. Sometimes we get mentally lazy and do not study to comprehend or for the purpose of personal application. It is then that we place ourselves in grave danger of being led astray, but it does not have to be so. It should not be so, for God expects us to think, to reason, and to understand.

It is a sad fact that some men have forgotten the standard by which truth and error will be judged, though. Some, seeking to promote themselves or their false doctrines, have sought out “new” ways of looking at the Scripture [new interpretations and new applications], and some have plainly abandoned the Scriptures altogether.

I urge you to stick with the word of God, friends and brethren, because it is there that you will find truth and salvation. Hide it in your heart [your mind], study it, live it, apply it, and teach it boldly.

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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


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1.  The King’s Highway:

A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray. (Isaiah 35:8)

 “Christ is a highway…cast up by sovereign grace, which is raised above the mire and dirt of sin, and carries over it, and from it; a way visible and manifest, clearly pointed to and described in the everlasting Gospel; it is the King’s highway, the highway of the King of kings, which he has ordered and appointed, and is common to all his subjects, high and low, rich and poor, stronger or weaker believers, all may walk in this way; it is an old beaten path, which saints in all ages, from the beginning of the world, have walked in; it is the good old way, the more excellent, the most excellent one; all obstructions and impediments are removed, cast in by sin, Satan, the law, and the world; nor is anyone to be stopped and molested in this way, and all in it shall come safe to their journey’s end:…”  (John Gill, from ONLINE BIBLE).

2.  Lk. 1:78-79 – Christ came to direct us in the way of peace. (Jno. 14:6)

3.  Matt. 7:13-14 – We choose to walk that way (road).

4.  Bible roads teach us about how we should travel the King’s Highway.

I.  THE ROAD TO CALVARY – Jno. 19:16-20; Lk. 23:26-33; Heb. 13:12.

  A.  A Road Of Reproach – Jno. 19:16-17.

  B.  A Road Of Sorrow, Suffering & Surrender – Lk. 23:26-27.

    1.  Via Dolorosa (the Sorrowful Way) – Crowded with Passover visitors, opponents & sympathizers of Jesus., this road led to Golgotha (Calvary, place of a skull) outside yet near the city–cite of execution.

    2.  See the suffering, sinless One: Body torn & bleeding, deserted by friends & justice, humiliated & carrying his instrument of death until Simon of Cyrene is compelled to carry it after him.

    3.  Here Jesus surrenders himself to death for our sake!

  C.  A Road Of Warning – Lk. 23:28-31.



  1.  We must walk this road with Jesus bearing our cross & bearing His reproach – Lk. 9:23; Heb. 13:13.

  2.  Do not be ashamed of being a Christian! – Mk. 8:36-38

    a.  Walk this road with humility – Acts 5:41.

    b.  Walk this road with joy – 1 Pet. 4:12-16.

  3.  If we don’t walk this road – Condemned & forever lost! – Rom. 2:6-11

II.  THE ROAD TO EMMAUS – Lk. 24:13-35.

  A.  A Road Of Doubt – 24:19-24.

    1.  Evidence before them: Jesus a Prophet, mighty in deed (miracles) & word before God & the people; Condemned to death; testimony of women & angel; no body & empty tomb.

    2.  They wanted to believe, but were not yet willing to accept the evidence before them!

  B.  It Became A Road Of Hope – 24:21, 27, 32, 35.

    -Their doubt was overcome with a Bible lesson! (v. 25-27)   Scripture produces faith (Rom. 10:17).



  1.  Jesus & His gospel turns doubt into hope – Rom. 5:1-2; Gal. 5:5; Heb. 11:1.

  2.  Secure your faith by studying & believing the Bible! – 2 Tim. 2:15

III.  THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS – Acts 9:1-19; 22:3-16; 26:12-20.

  A.  A Road Of Persecution & Unbelief – 26:9-12; cf. 1 Tim. 1:13.

  B.  A Road Of Conversion – 9:6, 9, 11, 18; 22:16.

    1.  Paul repented (changed his mind & his life) – stopped his sin!

    2.  Paul called upon the name of the Lord (baptized).

    3.  Paul remained faithful to Christ – 9:19-22.



  1.  When we live in sin and unbelief we fight against God – 9:5 (26:14).

  2.  All the sins of the past can be forgiven – 1 Tim. 1:14-16.

  3.  When sin is forgiven we must stop practicing it & be faithful to Christ – Col. 3:9-10.

IV.  THE ROAD TO JERICHO – Lk. 10:29-37.

    -(Road from Jerusalem to Jericho is 18 miles & descends 3,500 ft.; Desolate mountains & ravines)

  A.  A Road Of Choice – 10:31-33.

    1.  All three made a choice when confronted with needy man.

    2.  Each man’s choice was consistent with the kind of heart they had.

    3.  Samaritan had already chosen to be compassionate, so his choice was to be a friend to the helpless man & showed him mercy – 10:36-37.

  B.  A Road Of Service – 10:33-35.



  1.  We all make choices to serve or deny service – Lk. 10:30-31; Gal. 6:10.

  2.  Whether we choose to serve others shows the kind of heart we have – Lk. 10:27.

  3.  Serving others is not done to be seen by others (it is often private) – Matt. 6:1-4.



1.  The road to heaven — the King’s Highway — takes us to Calvary, to Emmaus, to Damascus & to Jericho.

2.  Are you travelling the King’s Highway?

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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Self-Sufficiency: Is there Room for God in Your Life?


1.   Rugged individualism and self-sufficiency are hallmarks of the American spirit. (Pioneers, trailblazers, presidents and peasants)

2.  It is counter-intuitive to the American spirit to be dependent. Yet, the gospel calls on us to depend on God instead of thinking we are self-sufficient, cf. Phil 4:13; Heb 13:5-6.

a.  “Self-sufficiency is a terrible place to be, because it is the worst deceit you can bring on yourself. You need God. You need God every minute of your life.” (Dr. Joseph Stowell)

b.  To whom do you turn in times of abundance? In times of scarcity?

3.  Whether little or much – our sufficiency is of God, cf. 2 Cor 3:5; Phil 4:10-13.

I.  DANGERS OF THE COMFORTABLE LIFE. (God is on the “back burner”; a convenience – or an inconvenience)

A.  The Danger of Forgetting God, Deut 8:11-20.

1.  Remember God…obey God; Forgetting God…disobey God, 8:11, 14, 17, 18-20.

2.  Can lose fear of God in times of abundance, Psa 106:6-15, 19-21.

3.  Stubborn, unthankful hearts develop toward God, Psa 78:5-11.

B.  The Danger of Trusting in Self and in Material Things, Lk 12:15-21.

1.  Our ability to learn contentment comes from the challenges of both deprivation and prosperity, Phil 4:10-13; 1 Tim 6:6-10.

2.  Economic crisis: In what are you putting your trust?

C.  The Danger of Self-Indulgence, cf. 2 Sam 11:1-2; Amos 6:1, 3-6.

1.   cf. America: “Roaring ‘20s” marked by excess, while the ‘30’s marked by crash, depression and survival.

2.   Forgetting God instead of turning to God, cf. Dan 4:30; 5:20.


A.  Sin Takes Us to a Place Where We Need God: Only God is Sufficient to Save Us from Our Sins, Col 1:19-22 (Lk 15:17).

1.  Salvation is only in Jesus and in His power over sin, Acts 4:12; 1 Cor 15:55-57.

2.  Unbelief is a mark of self-sufficiency, Psa 78:21-22.

a.  By rejecting His plan of salvation, cf. Mk 10:17-22.

b.  By rejecting our need to obey God to be saved by His grace (cf. Israel, Deut 9:4-7), Eph 2:8-9; Heb 5:9.

B.  Suffering Takes Us to a Place Where We Need God: Only God is Sufficient to See Us through Our Times of Suffering.

1.  When you suffer for His sake, Phil 1:29; 1 Pet 3:14; 4:12-14.

2.  When life brings its share of suffering and sorrow, Eccl 3:1-8 (4).

-Teaches us perseverance (the prophets and Job), Jas 5:10-11.

3.  Suffering keeps us humble and trusting in God, 2 Cor 12:7-10.

4.  Suffering teaches us to be empathetic toward others when they suffer, cf. Heb 2:18; 4:15-16; 1 Jno 3:16-17.

C.  Not Knowing Where to Turn Takes Us to a Place Where We Need God: Only God is Sufficient to Guide Us with His Truth, Jno 14:6.

1.   God’s word a complete guide; we must keep it, Psa 119:105-106.

2.   Full treasure of wisdom and knowledge are in Jesus, Col 2:3.

3.   Only the self-sufficient are arrogant enough to say, “What is truth”? Or, “Truth is whatever I say it is”!


1.  We must depend on God; the wise person lives by this truth:                                              

“Consider the work of God; For who can make straight what He has made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, But in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, So that man can find out nothing that will come after him.” (Eccl 7:13-14)

2.  The all-sufficient God will fully supply your needs when you make room for Him in your life, Phil 4:19.

a.  Room for doing every good work, 2 Cor 9:8.

b.  Room to endure every suffering with faith and good courage, 2 Cor 1:6-7.

3.  Only the “self-sufficient” arrogantly says, “Where is their God?” Psa 115:1-3 (Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases!)

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Posted by on January 27, 2012 in Uncategorized


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1.  What have you forgotten today? What about yesterday? Last week?

2.  Memory is a wonderful tool for improving ourselves; a blessing given us by our Creator. With it we learn and grow, we avoid mistakes of the past and duplicate its successes. Memory helps us treasure what is good so we can refine ourselves to be better, Deut 30:1-3.

3.  At the start of this new year let us resolve to develop a better memory as the people of God. The gospel teaches us things Christians should always                                     remember (never forget):


(To forget shows ingratitude and short-sightedness) (cf. Anniversary)

A.  Remember the Price of our Redemption. Eph 1:6-7

1.  His sacrifice and God’s great love, 1 Tim 2:6; Rom 5:6-8.

2.  Our new life in Christ (cleansing), Rom 6:3-4; 2 Cor 5:17.

a.  To no longer live in sin, Rom 6:1-2.

b.  To grow and mature in Christ, 2 Pet 1:5-11.

II.   ALWAYS REMEMBER GOD’S WORD OF TRUTH. 2 Pet 1:12-15; 3:1-2; Jude 17

A.  The World Says: “Forget the Bible”! (“Myths, corrupt, difficult…”)

B.  In Always Remembering God’s Word there is:

1.  Cleansing and safety from sin, Psa 119:9-11, 15-16.

2.  Assurance when persecution comes, Psa 119:81-88.

3.  Life and salvation, Psa 119:92-94 (Jno 8:31-32).


A.  World Says get Ahead of the Next Person (cf. gas line cutter). 2 Tim 3:1-5

B.  Christians must Remember the Good Christ has done for us and Share it with Others. Matt 25:34-40

1.  Hospitality, Heb 13:2.

2.  Remember that others have given us of their time, possessions, home, help – and respond in the same way, Matt 7:12; Acts 4:32-35; Gal 6:9-10.

3.  Remember to be a giver, not a taker, Acts 20:35; Prov 11:25.


A.  Those that Taught you and Stood for the Truth so you could know Christ. Jno 4:35-38

B.  Those that Endured Trials, making your Endurance Easier. Heb 10:32-35 (Always remember what has brought you to this moment in your spiritual life.)


A.  Mockers Forget God’s Powerful Judgments of the Past. 2 Pet 3:3-7

-As a result, they do not prepare for the future (1 Ths 5:1-6).

B.  Some Sinners will Repent of their Sins against God when they Remember His Power and Promises. 2 Pet 3:8-9

1.  His longsuffering should compel us to repent, Rom 2:4.

2.  God gives us repeated chances to repent and reform; are you wisely using your time?


1.    God will always remember your work of faith and acts of love, Heb 6:10.

2.    But, when you repent and obey Him he will remember your sins “no more”, Heb 10:17.

3.    So, we must remain diligent in faith, always remembering God and His eternal promises, Heb 6:11-12 (Eccl 12:1).

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Posted by on January 27, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Onward, Christian Soldiers!!

(The Militancy of God’s People)


1.  Militancy of God’s people is exhorted in song: Onward, Christian Soldier.

2.  Militant: “Engaged in warfare or combat… aggressively active (as in a cause)” (Webster).   Are you ready for battle?

3.  Bible says, “Fight the good fight of faith,” 1 Tim. 6:12.

   a.  Some Christians say, “I’m just tired of fighting!”

   b.  We must “fight the good fight of faith” to lay hold of eternal life, 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7-8.

4.  cf. Phinehas: “he was zealous with My zeal among them…so that I did not consume the children of Israel in My zeal,” Num. 25:1-12 (11). “He went after the man of Israel…” 25:8; Obtained peace, 25:12.

5.  Jesus (zeal for God’s house), Jno. 2:13-17.

6.  Without genuine faith we will not be militant (aggressive, zealous) for God, Deut. 1:28-32.

  a.  Such faithlessness causes discouragement and despair.

  b.  The “smooth things” that are not the “right things” reject the militancy of faith God requires of His people, Isa. 30:9-10.


-Christians must have a militant attitude plus an aggressive (zealous) practice of our faith. The militancy of God’s people should be apparent in the following: 


1.  Be militant in obeying (applying) truth, Heb. 5:11-14; Jas. 1:21-22; 1 Jno. 2:3-6 (Phil. 2:12).

  a.  In growing as a Christian, Heb. 5:11-14; 6:3.

  b.  In teaching the gospel (trying to save people), Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:21.

    1)  Relationship evangelism? Prov. 11:30; Jude 22-23

    2)  Social gospel to “draw” to Christ?  Jno. 6:44-45; 1 Cor. 2:1-2

  c.  In moral living, 1 Cor. 15:33-34; Matt. 5:13-16; Rom. 13:13-14.


2.  Be militant in contending for the faith, Jude 3.

  a.  There are many adversaries, 1 Cor. 16:8-9 (The devil leads the charge, 1 Pet. 5:8).

  b.  Therefore…fight!  1 Cor. 15:32; 1 Tim. 6:12 (Eph. 6:12)

  c.  Some don’t contend because they have been convinced that the faith is not absolute, plain and complete, 2 Tim. 3:16-17 (Jno. 8:31-32).

  d.  Some don’t contend because they confuse contending with contentiousness, 2 Tim. 2:14-15, 23-26.

3.  Be militant in resisting the devil (sin, evil, error), Jas. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:8-9.

  a.  Give no place to the devil, Eph. 4:27Withstand (resist, oppose), Eph. 6:13.

  b.  Requires a priority & unwavering commitment of faith, Dan. 3:17-18 (Matt. 6:33).

  c.  Do not “put up with” sin & error, or with those who promote it, 2 Cor. 11:3-4, 16-20 (19-20); Gal. 2:5.


4.  Be militant in standing in the faith (1 Cor. 16:13; Eph. 6:10-13, 14-17).  (“Stand up, stand up for Jesus”) 2 Ths. 2:15

  a.  Stand your ground (a matter of character: cf. The Alamo), Rom. 8:31, 37.

  b.  Steadfast in the faith, Col. 2:5-7; 1 Cor. 15:58 (cf. 2 Tim. 4:3-5).

  c.  Be strong and take courage in the strength of the Lord, Eph. 6:10.



1.  Gal. 4:18: Good to always be zealous for what is good (truth).

2.  2 Cor. 10:3-6: We must militantly (aggressively) obey the truth, contend for the faith, resist the devil and stand up for Jesus or we will be devoured, defeated and eternally lost.

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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


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How’s Your Relationship with God?


1.  Do you even have one? cf. Matt. 12:30; 11:28-30

2.  We hear a great deal about having a “personal relationship” with God, & of Christians who confess they do not (or wonder whether they do).

  a.  The term is redundant: Is there any other type? You are involved!

  b.  We recoil from this denominational terminology because:

    1)   In practice it usually means “What Christ ‘means to me’ instead of the true relationship we can, should & must have with God in Christ.

    2)   It usually accompanies an emotion-based religion, not truth-based (self-based not God-based).

3.  Jno. 14:7-11: This exchange emphasizes the relationship disciples of Christ have with Him. “Do you not know me?” (14:9)


  A.  It is Personal, because it is your Salvation!

    -When you are saved by the gospel, you know God, cf. 1 Cor. 1:21.

  B.  Christ Died for You & Saves You when You Trust & Obey.

    -I will give you rest (Matt. 11:28-29); He that…. (Mk. 16:16).


  A.  A Relationship RequiresContact: You must have Contact with God, Jno. 14:7-9.

    1.  The Lord knows each of us, cf. Nathaniel, Jno. 1:47-48.

    2.  Question is, do we (you) know God?  1 Jno. 2:12-14 (What kind of contact do you have with God?)

    3.  Initial contact: Conversion to Christ. But, what then?

    4.  Illus: Decide not to have any contact w/ a person for 6 months: What kind of a relationship will you have him after 6 months?

    5.  cf. David knew God was with him, Psa. 23:4. Do you? Heb. 13:5-6

  B.  A Relationship RequiresSpending Time Together: You must Spend Time with God. (cf. young people)

    1.  Spend time in communication (Moses, Num. 12:7; cf. your friends).

      a.  From God: Spend time with the Bible! Jno. 14:10; Heb. 1:1-2; Psa. 1:2; 119:14-16

      b.  With God: Prayer (1 Ths. 5:17).

        1)  Quiet time with God, Mk. 1:35.

        2)  Pray about everything! Phil. 4:6-7

    2.  Spend time worshiping:

      a.  Rejoicing, adoring, praising, thanking, Phil. 4:4; Heb. 13:17.

      b.  How can we expect to know God when we will not bow before God?! (Psa. 122:1)

    3.  Spend time serving others.

      a.  When you help someone you get to know them.

      b.  By serving others we serve Christ & know Him! Matt. 25:40

  C.  A Relationship RequiresTrust: You must Trust God. Jno. 14:11 (BTW, we trust who we know.)

    1.  Faith (cf. Abraham, Jas. 2:21-23: Friend of God – companion).

        -Do you trust what God commands you? What God promises you?

    2.  Obey (Lk. 6:46). He is sovereign; do you trust Him to rule you?     1 Jno. 2:3-5; Jno. 14:20-23

    3.  Cast all your cares upon God, 1 Pet. 5:5-7.

      a.  Trust takes humility toward the one we trust, 5:6.

      b.  Trust takes opening yourself up to God, 5:7. Expose your heart to God (He already completely knows you!).

  D.  A Relationship RequiresNurturing: You Must Take Care of Your Relationship with God. (cf. Marriage)

    1.  Someone says, “God seems so far away.”

    2.  In truth, God is as close or as far away as you chose to have Him in your life, Rev. 3:20. God is close to us when we…

      a.  Choose to learn, trust & obey His word, Jno. 14:23.

      b.  Choose to live for His pleasure & blessings; cf. Eph. 5:8-10.


  A.  You will become more and more like Jesus (He will influence you the most). Eph. 4:20-24; Phil. 3:7-11.

    1.  In your love for God & others (Matt. 22:37-39).

    2.  In your trust & reliance upon God (Matt. 6:33).

    3.  In your obedience to God in all things (Heb. 5:8-9).



1.  The call of the gospel is to know God, and more importantly, to be known by God, Gal. 4:8-9.

2.  Those who know Christ & are known by Him, “do the will of the Father,” Matt. 7:21-23.

3.  Do not turn back to the sinful error & immorality

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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


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1.   Surrender:  “to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand; to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another; to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence)” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary (Online).

2.   Discipleship to Jesus demands surrender/sacrifice – Lk. 9:23; 14:33; Gal.    2:20.  [“All to Jesus I Surrender” (#332)]

3.   Abraham stands as “the friend of God” & father of the faithful due to a faith marked by the complete surrender of himself to God’s will.

Gal. 3:29, 7, 9; Jno. 8:39 – Christians are Abraham’s seed – if we “do the works of Abraham” (Rom. 4:11-12)!

4.      What did Abraham surrender?  Will we do the works of Abraham?


   -(Its familiarity, security & comfort)

A.      America is Great, But Our Heavenly Home is Greater! – Phil. 3:20

1.      Our first allegiance is to God – Acts 5:29.

2.      At conversion we pledged allegiance to heaven (God)!

B.      Christians, Like Abraham, are Pilgrims.

1.      Do not “drive down stakes” here on earth! – cf. 1 Pet. 2:11-12

2.      Here We Are But Straying Pilgrims (#213); This World is Not My Home (#230); Anywhere is “Home” (#680).


A.      Sometimes Your Greatest Enemy is in Your Own HouseMatt. 10:36.

1.      Abraham’s family served other gods – Josh. 24:2.

2.      Marry someone who shares your faith in Christ!  (Will affect your faithfulness to Christ & your eternal destiny!)  (cf. Christian father) – 1 Cor. 7:33

3.      All to Jesus, I Surrender?!  (1 Cor. 7:23)


A.      A Matter of Trust in God’s Way & Word.  (Anywhere With Jesus, #390)

-Abraham went because God said to “go”!

B.      We Must Act When God Says to Instead of Depending on Our Judgment.

-[“Whatever God says to do in the Bible, I must do.  If He says to jump through a stone wall, I’m going to jump at it.  Going through it belongs to God, jumping at it belongs to me!”]

1.   God says:  Be baptized; love your enemy; return good for evil; etc.

Assemble to worshipHeb. 10:25.  (We let recreation, personal comfort set our habit of not assembling, then use our own judgment to justify it!)

2.   Surrender our wisdom/judgment to the will of God – 1 Cor. 1:21.

-Our salvation depends upon it!


A.   Our Unity in Christ Compels Us to Surrender Personal Liberties for the Sake of Peace – Eph. 4:3; 1 Cor. 8:9-13.

1.      Rom. 14:19 – Pursue peace instead of demanding “my rights”!

2.      For the sake of peace:  Do not surrender truth, but willingly surrender liberties.


A.      By Faith He Obeyed (Surrendered) – Gen. 22:2; Jas. 2:21-22.

B.      He Surrendered ImmediatelyGen. 22:3.

1.      Rose early (urgency & priority); Did not argue with God (content that God knew what He was doing).

2.      What about you? – Acts 24:25; 22:16 (Heb. 3:7-8, 13)

C.      He Was Able To Surrender Even His Son Because He Always Remembered God’s Promises.

1.      Rom. 4:18-22In hope he believed God’s promise of Isaac’s birth.

2.      Heb. 11:17-19 – He believed God would keep His promises to him.

3.      When we are called to surrender for the sake of Christ, we must set our eyes on God’s promises of eternal life! – Heb. 6:11-15, 19


1.   Are you surrendering all to Jesus – Or only until it hurts?!  (Rom. 6:12-13)

2.   Surrender all to Jesus – Only then will He be Lord in our hearts & lives!  (1 Pet. 3:15)


Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Keep Your Eyes On…


1.  Jno. 9 – Relate healing of the blind man.

2.  Jno. 9:35-41 – Healing physical sight typical of healing spiritual blindness.

3.  Eph. 1:18 – The eyes of our hearts must be enlightened with truth (cf. Matt. 13:13, 15).



  A.  As the Leader of the (our) Faith – 12:2.

    1.  Author (Prince, Acts 3:15) – “Signifies one who takes a lead in, or provides the first occasion of, anything” (Vine).

         a.      Of life – Acts 3:15 (5:31).

         b.      Of our salvation – Heb. 2:10.

  B.  As the Completion of the (our) Faith – 12:2.

    1.  Perfecter (finisher) – He brought the faith to its completion, its fullness – Eph. 1:10; cf. Gal. 3:1.

    2.  Jesus is the perfect Exem­plar of faith.

    3.  We must fill ourselves w/ His mind & temper by keeping His example ever before us – Jno. 8:12; 1 Pet. 2:21.

  C.  In Times of Temptation – (Heb. 12:1-4).

    1.  Which will mean daily looking to Him!

    2.  Heb. 4:14-16 – He knows what it is like!

    3.  Psa. 123:1-4 – Pray for God’s mercy (121:1-2; 141:8-10).



  A.  Only Hope of our Salvation – Col.1:20; 1 Pet. 2:24.

    1.  In the cross we see:  Humiliation/Triumph; Defeat/Victory; Injustice/Justice.

    2.  All of these are seen in the cross – If we will look upon it!

    3.  1 Cor. 1:17-18, 21; 2:2 – Preach gospel – Preach cross – Saving gospel.

  B.  As our Motive for Service & Sacrifice.

    1.  Matt. 26:39, 42 – Sacrifice & submission as an obedient servant (Phil. 2:7-8).

    2.  Matt. 10:38; 16:24 – Willingness to bear responsibility & sacrifice of serving Christ.


III.  KEEP YOUR EYES ON HEAVEN – Heb. 12:2; 2 Pet. 3:13.

  A.  Keep Your Eyes on Heaven’s Purity – Rev. 21:27.

    1.  2 Pet. 3:14 – Diligently pursue purity in view of heaven!

    2.  In this sin-racked world, our eyes need to be fixed on heaven’s purity with the goal of being there ourselves one day – 1 Pet. 1:4.  (undefiled)

    3.  If there is now sin – Be cleansed… perfect holiness! – 2 Cor. 7:1

  B.  Keep Your Eyes on the Heavenly Reward.

    1.  The faithful will be glorified with Christ – Heb. 12:2; cf. Rev. 3:21.

      a.  Col. 3:4 – Glory with Christ – Therefore…set your mind (eyes) on things above!

      b.  Do you ever contemplate the splendor & grandeur of heaven & of being a part of its love, joy & peace?  See yourself experiencing its wonder.

    2.  2 Tim. 4:8; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Jno. 3:2 – Glory with Him!



1.  Jesus came to earth so that those who do not see might have sight (Jno. 9:39).

2.  The eyes of the saved must be focused on Jesus, on the cross & on heaven in order to endure (Heb. 12:1-2).

3.  What are you looking at in your life?

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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


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