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Righteousness of God

Sermon of the Day: 

John MacArthur: Act Like Men


Acts 17:29-31 ESV

29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

 

Photo Credit: Aaliyah Keawe

Good Morning Men. I hope and pray this message find you well. I also hope and pray that each of our souls would  pant and thirst for the living God (Psalm 42:1-2).

Our passage to discuss and share today really grabbed my attention and intrigued me. For today my goal is to break down the three main points of our passage and how they relate to us today and throughout eternity.

The context of this passage brings on what is called the second missionary journey of Paul. The section we are dealing with has Paul speaking in Athens in what’s called the Areopagus. In other words it was an area or hill where court was held. So Paul begins describing all of the idols and objects of worship that he has seen all throughout their great city. Then steering towards the living God we find ourselves in our passage.

In verse 29 Paul makes an argument that if we are God’s offspring, created by Him. How is it possible to create something with our hands and  then worship it as God.

Although we don’t deal too much with physical hand made idols of worship in America. Our idols today come in the form of things we place before God. If we claim to be a Christian, we are saying no to idols and yes to Christ. As John teaches; He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30).

In verse 30 we have a reprieve of hope if you will, where Paul acknowledges that God has overlooked some things in times of ignorance.

After reading several commentaries this “times of ignorance” could mean a few things. Lets just keep it simple and say it could either be previously as a whole or previously on a personal level before you and I get to know God personally. Then Paul gets to the point again, and says how God commands all people everywhere to repent.

Does repentance come easy for you? Are there things in your heart that need repentance? Things that need complete change and transformation? Hopefully the answer is yes, because I believe every single one of us has things we need to repent about. Daily.

Why is this important for you and me?

Well look at verse 31; there is a day set in time where judgement on the world is coming. This is not always a crowd favorite topic, but men that day is coming for all of us and my prayer is that we are ready and excited to meet the Lord.

Do you notice what this judgement is based on?

righteousness by a man whom he has appointed…

That is so powerful! Men and women everywhere will be judged on the righteousness of Jesus Christ!

That is such great news!

If you and I were going to be judged by our own righteousness, to say we fall short is a severe understatement. In fact the prophet Isaiah tells us our righteousness is viewed as filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6).

So the message is simple but not always easy to receive. First of all you and I and everyone else has a major, major problem. That problem is sin. Sin is the sickness and curse of this world. But there is a cure. That cure is Jesus. Jesus came to earth fully man and fully God. Lived a sinless life, was perfectly blameless. Then humbled Himself by becoming so obedient, even to the point of death on a cross. Completely innocent yet willingly died in our place. He died so we could have life. He died so we could be forgiven of our sins. He died so that our belief in Him would be counted to us as righteousness for those who are born again. Because God knew full well that on our own, our righteousness falls way short.

What’s equally powerful is that we do not serve a God that is dead. Our God is alive! Jesus rose from the dead, conquering sin and death once and for all.

Men, God wants you and me to surrender our idols. To repent of our sins. To pick up our cross, deny our selfish ways and follow Him. When God accepts us as His we receive the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us. Then we learn about who God is from His Word.

Let’s study His Word and grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Then we can know God, and make Him known!


Heavenly Father help me put to death any idols in my life that come before You. Help me to see any idol that I do not realize is before You. I want to repent of all my sin. I want to be made whole in You. I want to receive Your righteousness. Teach me and help me to follow You at any cost. In Jesus name, Amen!

Building Blocks 3

Sermon of the Day:

John MacArthur: True Repentance: God’s Highway to the Heart, Part 2


Good Morning Men. I hope and pray all of you are doing well in the Lord. Today and everyday lets all fear the Lord and stand in awe of Him (Psalm 33:8).

Photo Credit: Aaliyah Keawe

Continuing on in the third and final section of our Building Blocks Series. Today we look at the Resurrection, Repentance and Salvation.

Block 7: He Has Risen

Primary Verse:

Matthew 28: 6 ESV – He Has Risen 

He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.

Supporting Verses:

Hebrews 13:8 ESV – Jesus Christ Is the Same

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

John 14:2-3 ESV – I Go To Prepare

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Acts 1:9-10 ESV – He Was Taken Up

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

The goal of this building block is to first of all educate the listener that Jesus rose from the dead. There are many biblical proofs of this occurrence that could be referenced as well to share this. Also to highlight the fact that not only did Jesus rise from the dead but He said He would. Again, there are multiple biblical references for this as well. Then we want to take a snapshot of how nothing in scripture ever changes. Unlike a science book that constantly changes, everything God said from the beginning is still the same today including Jesus Christ and His message. Lastly we have two examples that reference the complete sovereignty of God including the resurrection of Jesus before and after it happens.

Building Block 8: Repentance

Primary Verse:

Acts 2:37-38 ESV – Repent and Be Baptized

37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Supporting Verses:

1 John 1:9-10 ESV – Confess our Sins

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Luke 3:8 ESV – Bear Fruits Worthy of Repentance

Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.

Luke 13:5 ESV – Repent or Perish

No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

The goal of this building block is to introduce or educate the listener on  the biblical requirement of repentance. We also want to introduce baptism which is not required for salvation, but rather a biblical symbol of salvation for the new believer in Jesus Christ. Next we take a look at the confession of personal sin, without this personal reflection and confession of repentance. Any repentance will be shallow, superficial and not the biblical repentance needed for salvation. We quote John the Baptist in Luke 3:8 because he was sent by God to prepare the way for God. John consistently preached the message of repentance. This message is being lost in modern day preaching and we must not dare stoop to that level. Transformation of the heart is needed and if it happened it will show in your life. Zacchaeus, the Ethiopian Eunuch and of course Saul of Tarsus are biblical examples of repentance leading to true transformation. Lastly we add the strong words of Jesus to put the final stamp on repentance.

(On a side note today’s sermon covers six characteristics of a true repenter. I highly encourage this great education for all of us.)

Block 9: Salvation

Primary Verse:

John 3:3 ESV – Born Again 

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Supporting Verses:

Romans 6:4 ESV – Walk in Newness of Life

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2 NIV- Day of Salvation 

As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says,

“In the time of my favor I heard you,
    and in the day of salvation I helped you.”

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV – Saved Through Faith

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

The goal of this building block is to illustrate the need for rebirth. To be born again according to the scriptures begins a new life in Christ Jesus, becoming a new creation. Laying the old sinful nature in the grave and rising as a new creation living for righteousness. Romans 6 and 7 are great to help clarify this flesh vs. spirit nature. Salvation is always available while we have breath. Since we never know when our last breath will be, today is the day. This gift of eternal life is absolutely free. We cannot earn it.

If the listener is ready to be chosen by God to become a new creation in Christ remind them, that salvation is through Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, by the Scriptures alone for the Glory of God alone. We must not add anything to it.

Share with them:

Romans 10:9-10,13 ESV

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 

13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”


Heavenly Father I want to repent of all my sins. I confess all my sin before You and ask that You forgive me. Help me to continually bear fruits keeping with repentance. Give me a godly sorrow that pulls me closer to the cross of Jesus Christ daily. Thank you that salvation is found in no other name but the name of Jesus. I ask that You save me father, that my repentance is genuine and that I will love You with all my heart, all my mind and all my strength. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

 

 

Building Blocks 2

Sermon of the Day: 

Dr. Bryan Chapell: By Grace to Glory: Creation Beauty


Good Morning Men. I hope and pray you are doing well in the Lord and today we would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness (Psalm 107:31).

Photo Credit: Aaliyah Keawe

Continuing on in our Building Blocks series, today we look at: Who is Jesus? Who is the Holy Spirit? The message of the cross.

Block 4: Who is Jesus?

Primary Verse:

Isaiah 9:6 NIV – A Child is Born

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Supporting Verses:

Matthew 1:18 NIV – Birth of Jesus Christ

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 3:16-17 ESV – This is My Beloved Son

16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 16:15-16 ESV – Who Do you say I Am? 

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

The goal of this building block is to first of all make a a connection for the listener that Jesus is God. Secondly that God the Father is greatly pleased with His Son and acknowledges Him as His Son. Lastly we all will be faced with this decision, of who do we say Jesus is?

Block 5: Who is the Holy Spirit?

Primary Verse:

Luke 3:22 – The Holy Spirit Descended 

…and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Supporting Verses:

Genesis 1:26 ESV – Let Us Make Man in Our Image

 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

John 14:26 ESV – The Helper

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

1 Corinthians 2:11 ESV – Spirit of God

For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

The Goal of this building block is to identify the person of the Holy Spirit. Within this person we also want to make a connection that God is three in one. Our primary verse gives all three persons of God in one place acknowledged in their three forms. Hopefully bringing clarity and objective proof of the triune God in the “us” of Genesis 1. With Jesus previously being acknowledged we now want to help someone understand the role of the Holy Spirit in our life.

Block 6: The Message of the Cross

Primary Verse:

John 3:16 ESV – God so Loved the World

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Supporting Verses:

Isaiah 53:5 ESV – Pierced for our Transgressions

But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.

Mark 15:24 ESV – They Crucified Him

And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.

Psalm 22:16-18 ESV – Pierced my Hands

16 For dogs encompass me;
    a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet—
17 I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
18 they divide my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots.

The goal of this block is three fold, share the amazing love of God through the sacrifice of His only Son. Then dive into some of the atrocities and brutality of the cross and crucifixion of Jesus. Lastly to point out the prophecies spoken hundreds of years before that give pretty accurate detail of the events surrounding His crucifixion. Including the description of crucifixion before the Romans ever created this torturous device for the worst of the worst criminals.

The message of the Gospel has the power of God to salvation (Romans 1:16), which makes it absolutely paramount that we learn it, study it and share it over and over. We ourselves need to constantly hear it in every sermon we listen to, look for it in every sitting of devotion time. Learning to also make the connection with everything we go through in some way to the Gospel. The greatest news to ever hit this planet.


Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me so much that You sent Your Son for me. Thank you that through the blood of Jesus I can receive forgiveness for my sins. Thank you that Your power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead now lives in me. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Building Blocks

Sermon of the Day: 

Dr. Bryan Chapell: The Blessed One, Part 1


Good Morning Men. I hope and pray this message finds you well in the Lord.

Photo Credit: Aaliyah Keawe

We are going to change the format a little for the next couple devotions. I have been working on something I am calling the Building Blocks of Coming to Faith in Jesus Christ. This came to life as I have been sharing about Jesus with a co-worker that really has no background or education on anything relating to the Bible. My goal is to develop a template that stimulates a dialogue and exchange for someone to learn what it means to come to faith in Jesus Christ. My hope is that not only will I continue to develop and share this, but that those of you who are sharing your faith with others may find value in this.

The format I have started with this individual is that I have shared with him the main verse for the building block. I told him to go home and read it a couple of times, think about it, meditate on it. Then when we get back together lets talk about it.

What did it mean to you? After he shares then I point to the supporting verses to explain the meaning of the main verse and how it relates to him.

Here are the first couple building blocks:

Block 1: Fear of the Lord

Primary Verse:

Proverbs 1:7 ESV- Fear of the Lord

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
    fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Supporting Verses:

Matthew 10:28-31 NIV – Fear of the Lord

28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Psalm 14:1-3 NIV – The fool has said

The fool says in his heart,
    “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
    there is no one who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven
    on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
    any who seek God.
All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
    there is no one who does good,
    not even one.

Proverbs 26:12 NKJV

Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

The goal of this building block is to illustrate that having a healthy fear of the Lord awakens our heart and mind to seek Him. The fear of the Lord will start the turn of a heart too the Lord, however as illustrated in the Matthew verse it is a healthy fear because God loves us so much.

Block 2: Am I a Sinner?

Primary Verse:

Romans 3:23 NKJV – All have sinned

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

Supporting Verses:

Romans 6:23 NKJV – Wages of Sin

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Psalm 51:5 NIV- Sinful at Birth

Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV – Heart is deceitful 

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?…”

The goal of this block is to see if someone believes they are a sinner. Maybe even to help say it’s okay if you’re hearing this for the first time, you’re not alone. God says we all have this issue. Does someone have the humility to agree with God’s Word here? If not, are they willing to continue getting educated by the next few blocks?

Block 3: Who is God?

Primary Verse:

Isaiah 45:18 NKJV – I am the LORD

For thus says the Lord,
Who created the heavens,
Who is God,
Who formed the earth and made it,
Who has established it,
Who did not create it in vain,
Who formed it to be inhabited:
“I am the Lord, and there is no other.

Supporting verses:

Genesis 1:1 NKJV- In the Beginning 

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Revelation 1:8 NKJV- Alpha and Omega

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Psalm 139:7-8 – Where can i go…

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

The goal of this building block is to illustrate through these verses that God is completely sovereign, all knowing, and all-powerful (omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent) over everything in this universe. He is the one true God.

We will continue with the next few blocks next week. I hope and pray this was as helpful for each of you as this has been for me. If you are actively sharing your faith, my encouragement would be to study these scriptures. Ask God for wisdom, insight and enlightenment on how you can boldly and confidently share the power of God’s Word. As Paul teaches us in Romans, that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). So if we do not tell them, how will they hear the greatest news in the world?

That Jesus Christ of Nazareth willingly died on the cross for our sins, so that we may find forgiveness of sins and receive eternal life. Jesus rose from the dead, showing His infinite power that nothing in this world can stop His love from reaching us.


Heavenly Father I ask that you help me to have a hunger for learning Your word. Give me boldness that I will share my faith in such a way that points people to You. Thank you for sending Jesus to give me the assurance of hope that I have of eternal life with You. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Father, Forgive Them

Sermon of the Day: 

Acts: Peter and Paul: A Tale of Two Men


Luke 23:33-34 NKJV

33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

And they divided His garments and cast lots. 

(Photo Credit: Aaliyah Keawe)

Good Morning Men. I hope and pray each of you are doing well in Christ today. I also hope that each of us can Praise Him for His mighty acts, and that we can Praise Him according to His excellent greatness (Psalm 150:2)!

Our verse this week from Luke always stops me in my tracks. The heart of and love of Jesus always blows me away and I am forever grateful for the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Today I want to challenge each of our hearts with a few questions towards the heart Jesus had in His darkest moment.

For those that may not know the context of this passage, we are walking through what many refer to as Holy Ground. Unfortunately we do not have the platform to go through all of this, but I will try to capture the highlights.

Jesus of Nazareth, whom was born of a virgin being fully man and fully God came to this earth on a mission.

John 3:17 NKJV

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

That primary mission was to bring salvation to the world.

Jesus lived a perfectly sinless life, healed the sick raised the dead and many many more miracles. In fact so much so that John tells us that if they were written one by one, even the world could not contain all the books that would be written (John 21:25).

The very people Jesus came to sacrifice His life for wanted Him crucified. The very leaders and authorities if you will of the law of the Lord wanted Jesus crucified (Matthew 27:22). They accused Him of being a demon, a blasphemer and many other things. Jesus was whipped, beaten, spit on and much more (Matthew 27:27-31).

Yet our verse above brings us to the very cross they nailed Him too. The cross or crucifixion was one of the worst possible deaths in ancient Rome. It was a brutal and horrific way to die, and saved for the worst of criminals.

Our verse above shows at the height of pain, abuse and torture the true heart and nature of Jesus Christ. “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

I know that would not be my first thought if I were in that position. Even if I was guilty of the worst crimes, my heart would not be that soft, tender and forgiving. Yet Jesus in His radical love, abounding in mercy and grace offers us everything.

My challenge for you and me is this; Is it possible to look at every offence this way in our lives?

When we are wronged, mistreated or even victimized. Are we willing to develop the mind of Christ?

Philippians 2:5-8 NIV

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Men, if we profess to be born again believers in Jesus Christ this is our call to arms. To desire this type of lifestyle and character in all that we do. We should not expect perfection, but we should demand and intend a desire to grow in our own hearts.

Offenses will come. Wrongs will be made against you and I.

How will we handle it?

Like the rest of the world?

Or are we willing to be that example for Christ? Not for our benefit, but to ultimately point others to Him!

The Christian life is a battle. It will be a life long battle that is so worthy too fight. Yet Paul tells us that this battle is not what we think. It’s not a battle of me vs. you, them vs. us its much deeper than that. It’s in the unseen.

Ephesians 6:12 ESV

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 

Our battle is not against flesh and blood. Our battle is to point to the cross.

The cross is where Jesus paid for the sins of the world. Way before you and I every even contemplated the sin we did, Jesus said by the cross; I forgive you. But we have to receive that. We have to believe that. When we put our trust and faith in the saving work that was done on that cross some 2000 years ago. Our sins are forgiven and we can receive the free gift of eternal life in Christ.

Jesus paid the ultimate price for you and me. He paid it is so that we can receive forgiveness of any sin if we repent and receive it. We can also now have the assurance of the hope of eternal life. This is the greatest news in the history of the world men.

That by faith alone. Through grace alone. In Christ alone. Through the scriptures alone. For the glory of God alone, that we may be saved.

There is no love that is greater than this men. When we can start to see the depth of this love, it starts making our hurts and offences pale in comparison. When our hearts can start to overflow with awe and gratitude for this price paid for us. We too can learn to have the mind and heart of Christ that can echo His words:

“Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”


Heavenly Father thank you so much for sending Your Son Jesus to take my place. On that cross He paid for my sins, and gave His live so I can have mine. Please soften my heart to any offences. Help me to love the way You love. To forgive the way You forgive. So that I may live out my life by bringing You all the glory. In Jesus name I pray, Amen!


Sidenote:

I recently was pointed to a powerful documentary titled American Gospel. This was so powerful, so educational and has lit a fire in me that I have not had in years. My wife and I watched it together and we have been drawing from what we learned everyday since.

I would like to strongly encourage all of you to make time to watch that documentary. Your life will never be the same. I just watched the one on Netflix although there may be other platforms.

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.

 

 

 

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