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Are You Correctable?

Sermon of the Day:

The Jesus Lessons – Part 1


1 John 4:1 NKJV

 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.

Good Morning Men. I hope and pray this message finds each of you well and growing in the Lord. Whatever season you may be in, always remember it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man (Psalm 118:8).

Our above verse has been on my heart and mind for a couple weeks now. My goal in today’s devotion is to explain how this verse needs to be present in all we sing, listen to and read. My hope is to encourage us on how to stay vigilant against false doctrines and personal beliefs. In no way will this devotion be to point fingers at anyone, I pray that this is received in a way that each of us will look within. That we would turn to the Lord, turn to scripture, turn to the biblical authorities in our lives and get clarity, direction and truth.

To give some context of why this verse has been constantly on my mind and heart started with something I listened too. An individual understood the big picture of scripture pretty well, however they did not believe or express belief that our sinful nature needs continuous repentance. Their complete focus was on the fact that Jesus was love, and therefore we must love. Additionally that as Christians if we point to sin, or talk about sin we are being unloving.

The biggest thing that impacted me was this individual was so resolute in their belief system that when a Pastor was showing some doctrinal errors with scripture. There was absolutely no budging or receiving of that message. In fact this person became very offended. It made me think about how Jesus said blessed is he who is not offended because of me (Matthew 11:6).

Are you and I open to correction?

Is it possible that you and I may have formed or learned some man made doctrine in our heart?

The apostle John says in our above verse that many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is still relevant today and scripture is being taught by many to tickle the ear. To make Jesus appealing to the masses, so numbers go up and people feel as if that is the fruit of good teaching.

Matthew 7:15 NKJV

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

There are many movements and teachers out there that are very main stream. From teachers and pastors to the christian music arena. Rightly divide the Word of Truth, test the spirits and seek sound biblical perspective. As the Bereans did in Acts we must study God’s Word and learn to be anchored in truth.

The issue forms for you and me when we listen to partial truths too long. That when we hear the truth we become confused.

Acts 17:11 NIV

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Rather than become offended or resistive these individuals gave us the biblical example on how to grow in our walk and in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. We must learn to stick to the Word. Stay away from opinions, feelings and “I believe” statements that are not supported with scripture in its context.

Men, I hope and pray this message awakens something in you to seek sound biblical doctrine and settle for nothing less. I pray that each of us will not desire to just feel good about ourselves and the messages we hear. Rather that we want to be refined, rebuked, corrected and trained in righteousness so that we will be equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16).


Heavenly Father, I want to know You. I want to worship You in spirit and in truth. Father if there is anything resistive in me, please soften my heart. Give me a heart that is teachable, unoffendable and correctable. Give me an ear to discern between truth and partial truth. I want truth. Thank you for Your Son Jesus. Thank you for Your free gift of salvation. Help me to honor You, and to glorify You with my life. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

 

 

Greatest Treasure

Sermon of the Day: 

Luke: Science and Faith


Today’s devotion is from Day 5 of the YouVersion Bible Plan ‘7 Things The Bible Says About Marriage‘.

Day 5 was written by:

Brad Belyeu – YouVersion Engineer

Proverbs 18:22 NKJV

He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord.

Greatest Treasure

I don’t think about treasure much as an adult, but I sure did when I was a kid. Treasure was worth fighting pirates to find. Treasure was worth fending off ogres to protect. Treasure was the pinnacle of an imaginative adventure. Meditating on Scripture is always good for your soul, and thinking regularly about today’s verse (Proverbs 18:22) can have a profound effect on your marriage.

If my wife is truly my greatest treasure, then she becomes more entertaining than what I want to watch on TV. Spending time with her becomes more valuable than “me time.” Her needs become more important than my own. Of course, this verse isn’t saying that your wife is an idol to be set above the Lord. However, what it is saying is that—of all the blessings that your heavenly Father gives you in this world—you should consider your wife to be the greatest.

Gift From the Lord

Before I met my wife’s earthly father, I heard that he was an officer in the Air Force. As most young guys would be, I was intimidated by her dad when we first met but, as I got to know him, we cultivated a healthy respect. This respect made sure that I was on my best behavior and had her home on time after our dates.

I think it should be the same when we take time to think about our wife’s heavenly Father. He cares for her more than her earthly father or I ever could. God entrusts me with the gift of caring for my wife as only a husband can.

It’s a sobering thought that the all-knowing, all-powerful Father sees how we treat His gift. It makes me cringe to think back on the snarky comments I know I’ve made, the selfish moments I’ve had.

This is my prayer, and I hope many men reading this will pray it, too:

Heavenly Father, please forgive me for not treasuring my wife as I should. Thank You for giving me such an amazing blessing. Please renew my heart and mind, and help me to see her as my greatest treasure each and every day. Amen.

Cultivate the Mind of Christ

Sermon of the Day: 

Peter – On Assignment 


Matthew 27:62-64 NKJV

62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”

 

Good Morning Men. Let us give thanks to the Lord for He is good! For His mercy endures forever (Psalm 118:1)! What a blessing and a promise that is for each us of us to hang on too today.

Our passage from this week is taken right out of Holy ground. Following the death and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a certain mindset that these chief priests and Pharisees had that unfortunately you and I still have today. Lets breakdown this mindset and turn to a few promises of God to affirm the right mindset.

In response to the words of Jesus: ‘After three days I will rise’ this groups biggest concern was that the disciples would steal his dead body and claim Jesus had risen. These guys were putting Almighty God in a tiny little box and saying this is the only outcome that can devastate us. This is a very limited mindset. Unfortunately it is still common among us today.

Now that we know the end result it is easy to see how silly this thought was. Not only was the body of Jesus not going to be in the tomb. But Jesus was going to appear on multiple occasions to His disciples. Jesus also appeared to five hundred brethren at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6).

So what kind of mindset do you and I need to cultivate?

Colossians 3:2 NIV

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

What is our focus each morning? Each day? Are we pursuing a more intimate relationship with God? If you and I are doing that, we are moving in the right direction. Cultivating the mind of Christ, to grow in faith which comes through the Word of God (1 Corinthians 2:16, Romans 10:17).

Romans 12:2 NKJV

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Our minds need constant renewing. That is why we are encouraged to meditate on this book day and night (Joshua 1:8), allowing it to become who we are. If not we become conformed to this world by things we watch, listen too and the people we associate with or follow.

God’s resources are unlimited. God’s love for you and me is unlimited. God’s grace and mercy are unlimited.

Why would we ever limit the creator of the universe?

It is our human sinful nature to do so. So how do we fight this?

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

This verse from Proverbs is such a powerful path to living out the mind of Christ. It hits a couple of the key foundational blocks for living out the Christian life.

We will have challenges for the rest of our lives, but let’s learn to trust Him completely.

We all have this wicked thing called pride, lets grow in humility to not rely on our own understanding.

When God calls, nudges or moves in our mind or spirit lets learn to just submit. As painful, scary or uncertain as it may seem.

God loves you and I so much that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life (John 3:16). This is the kind of love we need to focus on and believe in when we become to hesitant to submit or when we start forming boxes around an Almighty God.

 


Heavenly Father, teach me to set my mind on things above. Let my sin be ever present before me, as I repent and turn my life over to You each day. Give me the discipline and strength to cultivate a deeper more transparent relationship with You. So that I will not be conformed to this world. Rather each day and night I will renew my mind. Learning to pick up my cross, deny my selfish ways and follow you whole heartedly. In Jesus name, Amen.

Every Man a Liar

Sermon of the Day: 

Ezra – New Beginnings


Psalm 119:128 NKJV

Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things
I consider to be right;
I hate every false way.

Good Morning Men. Today is the day the Lord has made for you and me. Let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).

I hope this message finds each of you and your families well and abounding in the hope of Jesus!

Have you ever read something and agreed with 100% of everything you read? How about talked to someone and agreed with 100% of everything they said?

Maybe you’re like me and that doesn’t happen all the time. If so then maybe you can grasp the magnitude of our verse above. The Psalmist David makes a powerful premise followed by two personal conclusions.

Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things…

This is a very large net that has been cast. My personal Bible has almost 1100 pages, with anywhere from 250-350 words per page. That is anywhere from 275,000-385,000 words that David is casting into this net.

I consider to be right…

Within all these words, statements, stories, prophecies, etc. David considers them to be right, true and 100% worth believing and following. In all fairness for arguments sake, at the time of this statement the entire Bible was not written yet. However the Bible is 100% inspired by the Spirit of God. So every single word or as Jesus said ‘jot or tittle’ is inspired by the Holy Spirit through the pen of men.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Over 40 different authors over the course of roughly 2000 years, using three different original languages came together with one theme, Jesus Christ the Savior of the World. This is done by the power of the Holy Spirit so that you and I can have life changing truth at our fingertips.

So David considers all of this to be right. This made me ask myself a few questions that I want to share with you.

Where is my source of belief?

Where do I consider all information to be right?

Where is my source of wisdom?

David was a man after God’s heart. Yes he had some major stumbles, made a few costly decisions. However through it all this man is highly esteemed by God. He even called Himself the apple of God’s eye (Psalm 17:8).

So why would I do or believe differently than this man?

I hate every false way. 

Hate is a powerful word. Defining a false way in our day and age can get murky quickly. What you and I need to ask ourselves first, is not so much what do we consider false. Rather what is the source of what we consider to be false.

Are we basing it off of what we feel? Our opinions? Or based on previous hurt, shame or anger that leads to an emotional or opinion based decision.

As we grow closer to Christ, as we grow to believe in the authenticity and infallible truths of Gods Word this is where you and I need to be:

Romans 3:4 NKJV

Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written:

“That You may be justified in Your words,
And may overcome when You are judged.”

If I could paraphrase that and make it more personal for you and me.

Let God be true, but I am a liar.

Do you and I have the humility to not only say that, but live that out each day?

It’s not easy when you make it that personal. In fact typing it stings… if I can be honest.

So what does this mean for you and me moving forward?

We have access to the source of all creation and all wisdom. God Almighty has given us access to know Him, to know His thoughts, to know His Words through the Bible. Through this Bible we can learn the greatest news in the history of the world. That God sent His only Son Jesus to die in our place. So that we can be forgiven and have eternal life in Him.


Heavenly Father give me a heart that is always in pursuit of You. Give me a heart that has the humility to say I am a liar but You are truth. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You my Lord, my Rock, my Savior. In Jesus name, Amen!

The Heart is Deceitful

Sermon of the Day: 

Exodus: A Training Exercise


Jeremiah 17:9-10 NKJV

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
10 I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.

Good Morning Men. I hope and pray this message finds all of you and you’re families well in the Lord. Know that our great God, rules by His power forever (Psalm 66:7). What a rock to stand on.

The above verse is a powerful verse, with some very pointed statements that if I can be completely honest will not feel good to a lot of us on first pass. Lets break each statement down and take them all as face value.

The heart is deceitful above all things – have you or I ever thought of ourselves as a good person? Have we ever thought of our heart as deceitful above all things? If this is news to you, or this challenges you I encourage you to keep studying God’s Word. The Bible is the best place to come and study the human condition. No matter how great a man is, there will always be the issue of sin. It is so desperately wicked that if we do not remain vigilant to attack sin in our life and pursue righteousness through Christ Jesus all of our efforts will be futile.

Who can know it? – many may claim to know their own heart. Many may truly believe that they are good people. But as the scripture says: Who can know it? Who truly knows the condition of the human heart, well we see in the next line.

I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind – Wow. God not only searches our heart but He tests our mind. That is a great thing for all of us to know, because I know I have kept what I thought may have been a secret from God. Pretty silly when we know that God searches, tests and examines our innermost being.

Even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. – We all want to be rewarded. I believe with all my heart every one of us reading this wants to be rewarded by God. Well we sure will, according to our ways and the fruit of our doing. That could be really exciting or really scary. I’m reminded of the Parable of the Talents and the words the master tells the two wise men: “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).

I hope and pray those are words we all long to hear from Jesus when we come face to face with our creator.

My biggest takeaways from this passage in Jeremiah is that I am a sinful man that is desperately in need of help. There is no point in me faking anything because God is actively searching my heart and mind. I need to be transparent, open and clear with Him for the help and guidance I need.

The good news is, God does not tell us this horrible news without a solution. There is a solution to the decietful and wicked condition of the human heart.

That solution is Jesus Christ. Jesus spoke the earth into existence, He is the author and creator of life as we know it. Yet He gave up His heavenly robe to come down as a man. A perfect sinless man and subject Himself to the most horrific betrayal and death possible. However none of that was in vain because three days later He rose from the dead by His own power. Ressurection Power!

Jesus died so you and I can have life. Eternal life. We also can recieve forgiveness for our sins through His blood that was shed. That greatest thing yet is that this free gift is available to all who pursue it, believe it and recieve it. I pray you do.


Heavenly Father, test my heart, examine my mind. Cleanse me and wash me of sin. Draw me closer to You. Give me a fresh indwelling of Your Holy Spirit. A renewed hunger for Your Word. Teach me to be salt and light in all that I do and say. So that I may hear the words “Well done, good and faithful servant”. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

 

 

Obedience

Sermon of the Day:

Best News Ever


Deuteronomy 26:16 NKJV

“This day the Lord your God commands you to observe these statutes and judgments; therefore you shall be careful to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Photo Credit: Aaliyah Keawe

Good Morning Men. I hope and pray you are doing well, because how excellent is the name of the Lord in all the earth (Psalm 8:9)!

This weeks verse is centered around obedience, as we take a quick look at the commands Moses is delivering to the Israelites in his final season and how that relates to you and me today.

All of us understand what obedience is, and the older we get I think the more we can appreciate it. From the obedience we either had or lacked with our own parents. To many of us now being parents ourselves, and also those that are in the grandparent stage. Our jobs even require obedience, moving about our community, and now we have new laws that need to be obeyed.

Obedience is required and needed everywhere.

I wanted to share some good news and some bad news about obedience.

The bad news is that none of us have ever fully been obedient.

The good news is only Jesus has fully obeyed.

Why is obedience so important? Why does Moses command the people to obey all the rules with all their heart and soul?

Moses understood that disobedience leads to sin, and sin leads to death. So the opposite is true that obedience leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to life. As an individual this is important for our soul, for our ministry, for our testimony. As a parent we are teaching our children how to obey the seen, so they can learn how to obey the unseen.

Obedience is absolutely necessary if we want to grow and develop our relationship with Jesus. For the follower of Christ obedience should be a lifestyle, not a get out of jail card. The Holy Spirit is constantly calling our hearts into obedience each day. Through subtle and maybe even larger nudgings, they are there.

Obedience needs to start at the root of who we are. Not externally by what people see. The root is our thought life, which is provoked by what we see, listen and think on. My encouragement for us all is to memorize and pray the following verse so it becomes true for each of us for the rest of our life.

Psalm 19:14 NLV

Let the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing in Your eyes, O Lord, my Rock and the One Who saves me.


Heavenly Father thank you for so many examples all through Your Word on why obedience is so important in my life. Teach me to obey those in authority over my life. Teach me to be an example to those watching me. May the words of my mouth and thoughts of my heart be pleasing to You O God. In Jesus name, Amen!

While It Was Still Dark

Sermon of the Day: 

Moving Rocks


John 20:1 NKJV

Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

Photo Credit: Aaliyah Keawe

Good Morning Men! I hope and pray you are completely filled with hope this morning because Jesus is Risen! The tomb is empty this morning just as it was over 2000 years ago! That is glorious news for you and me!

This morning I wanted to share a few little takeaways I got from a variety of messages and readings on the most amazing news in the universe. That news is that Jesus is risen, just as He said (Matthew 28:6).

Our keynote verse above has Mary of Magdalene headed to the tomb early, in fact it is still dark. Scripture does not tell us exactly why she is headed there, possibly all by herself. For some context Mary and all the disciples have just had their entire worlds flipped upside down over the last 72 hours.

They really are a mess. Not too long ago they were just parading through the streets of Jerusalem shouting Hosanna to the Son of David, Hosanna in the highest (Matthew 21:9). So excited and overjoyed with expectation that their long awaited Messiah has actually arrived.

From that ultimate high they dip to an ultimate low as Jesus is crucified on the cross.

I really believe a prevailing thought amongst the disciples was: Now What!?

However Mary of Magdalene with a heart in reckless pursuit of Jesus heads to the tomb while it was still dark. I’m sure crying and sobbing the entire way, possibly just to address some burial customs. Maybe just to be around the presence of the Lord’s body?

Either way she knew she needed to be there.

This scripture mentions she went while it was still dark. We can only speculate why the Holy Spirit decided to have John write that, but let’s take some practical application from that.

What do you and I do during dark times? Personally dark times? Even now in a somewhat globally dark time?

What do you and I do when it is still dark in the morning?

Are we sleeping, or are we headed to Jesus looking for comfort? Looking for answers?

Lets look at Mary’s actions a little further down the passage:

John 20:11 NKJV

But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 

So at this point, Mary has noticed the stone is rolled away and the body of Jesus is gone. Nothing but his linen garments are there folded up where He lay. Mary even calls Peter and John to check it out. In complete shock and confusion Peter and John leave the area.

But Mary remains. In fact weeping she goes back and looks into the tomb. These actions remind me of a powerful verse:

Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Mary was diligently seeking the Lord. Seeking for answers. Seeking to understand what does all of these mean. She could have just as easily walked away with Peter and John. Yet she remained and leaned into Jesus. Was her faith strong and perfectly awaiting Jesus’s resurrected appearance?

It doesn’t really sound that way. But she continued to pursue and seek Him! That is a great takeaway for you and me. Even when we don’t feel like it. Maybe we don’t feel like reading, praying or maybe our faith is a little weak in a season. Go back and look into the tomb, go back and dig into scripture. Crying out to God for answers. He will answer.

However with Mary, just as scripture promises God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Lets look at two amazing examples of Jesus rewarding the heart and pursuit of Mary.

John 20:12,16 NKJV

12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 

1Jesus said to her, “Mary!”

She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).

Although Peter, John and all the disciples got to see Jesus as well. Isn’t it always way more exciting to be the first to experience something? Well Mary was the first to experience the divine intervention of these two angelic beings. Then she was the first to see the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ!

Men, I don’t know about you but that just fires me up and encourages me big time. When things get tough, when things may be dark lets have the heart and faith of Mary. Let’s pursue God diligently!

This could look differently for a lot of us, but for the most part it’s all about spending time with the Lord. Spending time in the Word and in prayer, having praise and worship songs playing through our homes and cars as we just surround ourselves with the goodness and glory of God. If you’re not sure where to start, ask God and He will lead you and direct you. Don’t wait until you hear an audible voice from the heavens, you’ll be waiting awhile, just start. God is a God of action and we must be men of action too!


Heavenly Father, thank you so much for giving me Your Son Jesus! The greatest news in the world is that He is Risen from the dead. That death has no hold on Him and through the blood of Jesus, the sacrifice and the resurrection of Jesus I now have access too eternal life. I have forgiveness of all of my sins through the blood of Jesus. Help me to pursue You with all my heart, soul and mind. Help me to diligently seek You in the good times and the dark times. Please build my faith. I love You. I praise You. You are God and there is no other. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

 

 

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