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Lessons From David

Sermon of the Day: God So Loved the World Part 1


Good Morning Men!

I just recently finished reading through the section of the Bible about David. There are so many lessons to learn from this man. I wanted to look at three lessons that got my attention this time through.

 

2 Samuel 6:14

Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod.

In this verse we have a king that remembers where he cam from. He also remembers who is responsible for getting him there. This type of worship David displayed is absolutely unfiltered. A type of worship that his one concern is God.

I know personally I have had times where my worship to God has been restrained. Whether it was pride, shame, guilt or anything in between.

However I love David’s heart here, he does not take himself so serious as the “King of Israel” that is too pious and important to worship like the best of them. A part of this was because David illustrated many times in the Bible that he never forgot where came from.

We all have a better chance of remaining humble in our achievements, advancements and areas of growth when we don’t take ourselves so serious and we remember where we came from.

2 Samuel 7:1-2

 Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies all around, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.”

This section blew me away. David is in all his earthly splendor and glory as King of Israel. He has peace all around him. In other words, things could not be better for our man David.

Yet, look at where his thoughts go, directly to God and about Gods dwelling place on earth. Not that God needs help establishing a dwelling place on earth to meet with his people. It’s the fact that David’s heart and mind goes there, that is mind-blowing to me. I must confess that when I have been at my peak, God has not always been my main priority.

What an amazing heart, and love David has for God. What a great example again of never forgetting where he came from and what God had done in his life. Most men have the tendency to think quite the opposite. Most men start to look at what they have done, or what they think they have done. Men this approach to life couldn’t be any farther from the truth.

God is completely sovereign and David knew this and that is why the Bible says David was a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).

2 Samuel 24: 10

And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O Lord, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”

I just want to focus on one thing that impacted me from this verse.

David is a shepherd boy turned warrior of the nation. Warrior turned king and deliverer for the entire nation.

David made a few very impactful mistakes and life lessons that greatly strengthened the heart and relationship this man had with God. Wise beyond measure, yet seasoned and reserved in his later years.

Yet he fails.

He fails greatly, at the expense of seventy thousand men (verse 15).

This impacted me greatly because it terrifies me.

How does this happen!?

Our sinful nature men is nothing to be toyed with. Great sins never appear out of nowhere. It is a slow fade from God and towards idolatry and sin. The older we get the more we have to lose. I heard recently someone say, if age brought wisdom then all old people would be wise. Unfortunately we all know this is not accurate.

We must guard our hearts above all else (Proverbs 4:23). If David, a man far greater than I could ever dream of becoming can fail like this then so can I, so can you. Is failure going to come in our lives? Absolutely. However we must do all that we can to not fail due to sin, idolatry and all the things that accompany that.

My hope is that these three lessons from David will be an encouragement and a hope for all of you. Learn from the mistakes of others and challenge yourself to grow closer to God each and every day.

 

A Command For Joy

Sermon of the Day: Quest: Joy! Found Christ!


 

Psalm 32:11 NIV

Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
    sing, all you who are upright in heart!

The above sermon was another amazing sermon that taught me a very important command from God. A command that has been in front of my eyes almost every time I have opened up the Word. It is everywhere yet I was never able to connect the dots.

Joy is commanded by God.

It almost sounds funny to put it that way. God says you have to be happy and joyful. Unfortunately this is not always that easy. Personally for me it has times of struggle because what a great place to rob a Christian’s impact. Anytime we allow the situations of life, people and circumstance to rob our joy, guess who is smiling? Satan.

Lets get some background. Do you realize that everyone seeks happiness? We all want happiness in every facet in life, it just comes in different ways and forms. Pastor John even went as far to say the man that hangs himself is even seeking happiness.

Here are a few more examples of God commanding us to have joy:

Psalm 37:4 NIV

Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 33:1 NIV

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
    it is fitting for the upright to praise him.

Why is this an important commandment?

The root of the matter is because it is all about God.

So what do you seek for happiness? Are there areas of self-denial in your life so that your walk and relationship in Christ can flourish? Pastor John says that self denial is renouncing lesser joys, for greater joys. Well, what does that mean?

Lets turn to Jesus to answer that question for us.

Matthew 13:44

 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”

Jesus is saying that we have access to the greatest treasure in the world, in fact in the history of mankind. The problem happens when we seek temporary treasures that are just an temporary joys. Only one thing will bring us complete fulfilling joy.

Here are my notes from the above sermon from Pastor John. Nothing is an exact quote, but I want to paraphrase what he said and hopefully connect my notes so it makes sense.

By nature we are sinful and rebellious. Anytime someone commands us to do something we automatically have desires to reject these commands.

Treasuring God, rejoicing and finding joy in Him is God honoring. When God is not treasured, not our delight or satisfaction He is not honored.

God’s greatest duty is to look good by making us infinitely happy in Him.

Wow. That is a powerful statement. What is so crazy men, our views of joy is so distorted. God loves us so much so darn much that He gave His perfect sinless Son to be mocked and abused. Spit at, nailed to a cross, then stabbed with a sword so that you and I can not only be forgiven of our sins but so we can have eternal life. Men God loves us that much, He knows whats best and wants the best for us. God’s best for us is anchored in complete joy in Him.

The Christians duty is to be as happy as he can be in God. Why? When you do this, you become that man that Jesus describes above. Turning from anything that could hinder you from purchasing that field with the hidden treasure.

So the hang up is sin. Do you know that sin abuses God? My sin defer’s God, because I am preferring other things to Him. I choose sin over Joy in Him. I choose self pleasure over joy in God. I choose temporary glory and fun, over eternal glory and unquenchable joy.

Men at the end of day the gospel of Jesus Christ has nothing to do with what we do. Treasuring Christ, finding a treasure that brings so much joy. A joy that is greater than any storm, any setback any obstacle this life has in store for you.  This treasure is so great because it has nothing do to with you. Nothing you can do to earn it, nothing that makes you more inclined or special to receive it. That is what separates the Gospel of Jesus Christ from every other religion out there.

Jesus Christ is the only all-redeeming savior, the perfect sinless sacrifice that gave His life for the world. Then on His own power rose from the dead so that you can have life. So that death no longer has it’s sting.

This is news worthy men, this is a treasure that is worth selling everything you have to buy this field. Being a born again Christian gives you rights to this treasure. This treasure is so worthy of a life long journey overcoming every obstacle and challenge with complete joy!


desiringgod.org 

Weakness – A Reason to Rejoice

Sermon of the Day: Christ’s Power Is Made Perfect In Weakness

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Following last week’s email the Lord was able to make a connection for me. Heavy hearted in prayer I really have been searching God for answers, what does it look like for me to suffer for Christ? The Holy Spirit reminded me of this verse, these verse has also come to life for me over the last month or two. So personally it was an amazing connection.

So I wanted to find a little more depth and clarity of what this verse means. So I turned to the ever consistent teaching of John Piper at Desiring God. Men this ministry is so amazing and such a blessing to over a million people world wide (according to their website statistics). Thank you Pastor John and the entire staff of Desiring God for making this amazing ministry available to those who hunger for the truth.

I took notes on the message above, and I would like to share that with you today. So lets begin.

Pastor John had a few questions throughout this sermon. The first question was, What is weakness?

Well according to verse 10 above, it is insults, hardships, persecution and calamity. Paul is not talking about sin or imperfect behaviors. Sin may make us look weak, however if we had the physical or mental strength we could change it. The weakness Paul is talking about here is more about situations, circumstances and wounds that are greater than us. Things that are out of our reach and control to fix.

This made total sense to me. I have been guilty of this kind of mindset. I make a decision where sin takes place. Then in my misery and consequences, I feel pitied and think that this suffering is for Christ. I couldn’t be more off track. My suffering is 100% my fault.

So where does this weakness come from?

Paul’s is given a thorn in the flesh. Verses 1-4 of this chapter describe an amazing experience God allowed Paul to have. This experience would have caused Paul to feel exalted and prideful. God places some type of thorn, no one knows exactly what that thorn was. It was some type of difficulty that was placed there to keep him humble. We also know that Paul prayed 3 times for it to be removed and the Lord answered Paul in verse 9.

Verse 7 says a messenger of Satan was involved. So we see both God and Satan at work here. Yet Satan is in this situation to destroy, God allows Satan in so God can save Paul. Satan wants Paul to swell with pride. God wants Paul humbled in holiness, we see that from verse 7 above, just like God humbled Job.

So we must know that some weakness comes from Satan. But God controls Satan. And God promises:

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

What is the purpose?

So why do hardships plague us? Satan’s purpose is to harass or beat you. Paul prayed for relief and God met him. God’s purpose is to humble us. We all need more humbling from the Lord. God may allow us to the mountaintop but then bring us through anguish of soul to remind us we did nothing. Its all HIM! God’s purpose is to glorify Jesus’s power. It looks different then the world because through the weakness, Christ shines. Unlike the world, power, prestige, success, etc. shines.

In these times of weakness we find strength to endure that is from Christ. We also learn to trust Him on a greater level, trusting Him that the hardship is for our good.

The ultimate purpose of God in our weakness is to glorify the kind of power that moved Christ to the cross and kept him there until the work of love was done.

1 Corinthians 1:23

… but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles…

What we need most will not be quick relief. We need to remain in the hardships until the work of love and grace is done. We need to remain so the power of Christ is made perfect in our weakness and it can be a light to a lost soul.

desiringgod.org

Hope in Christ Alone

Sermon of the Day: Radical Effects of the Resurrection 

1 Corinthians 15:12-19

12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. 

Good Morning men.

I want to share another sermon of John Piper with you guys. Men this message really rocked me to my core. Several things were revealed showing major errors in my thought process and theology. I have been greatly humbled and broken.

Let me point out two things real quick. The first thing is that I want to share what impacted me about this sermon. Secondly, when I first listened to this sermon I had a choice. The choice was to be impacted emotionally for a week or so then move on and continue in my merry way. Or really dig into the thoughts and convictions I was feeling. My hope for all of you is that when challenged by something from the Word of God you will dig in to His Word. Get honest, get real and seek the change that is needed.

Men everything hinges on the risen Christ. If Christ has not risen all we have is a large book with a whole lot of information.

In the sermon John Piper shares a story he heard. This story talked about these certain monks in Italy, who lived a life of silence. The only time they spoke was to confess their sins or sing. The rest of their life was lived in complete silence. A news reporter did an interview with one of the leaders who was given permission to speak. The news reporter asked if he died and found out that atheism was real, how would he feel about his life? The monk replied something along the lines, that even if atheism was real, a life lived in silence would still be absolutely beautiful and worth it.

So let’s contrast the monk’s reply with what Paul describes in the verse above. The monk is saying his religion and service were not in vain, even if when he crosses into eternity and finds what he believed was completely false. The life of silence and service he lived was worth it all.

Paul says in everything he did, all preaching, all beatings, all fasting, etc. If Christ is not risen from the dead then it was all in vain and for nothing. In fact he uses language that says he should be the most pitied, and not in a sympathy way. Rather, more in a way that people would be like what a fool.

This blew me away. I remember several conversations I have had with individuals as I was trying to share my faith with them. I was sharing my faith in a way that choosing a life of Christ would be great and beneficial for many earthly reasons. So great that if I died and Jesus was not Lord, that would be okay because I would have lived an honest life, great marriage, served people and so on.

Am I inline with Paul’s teaching in the verse above?

If you didn’t notice I am absolutely off track. I am missing the whole point. This really hurt for me. In fact it is painful to share. To be marketing a diluted, earth minded gospel with no real attachment of what it means to be a Christian.

Look at what John Piper said in this sermon:

“If your goal in life is to maximize the joy and pleasure and comfort and success on this planet, Christianity is not for you. Most definitely not for you.”

Not sure if that speaks to any of you. But if I am completely honest with you all, that directly convicted me. Let me also make it clear that this is a very huge topic that in no way can get covered in a single message. Our lives will all have different callings and purpose. So in no way is John Piper saying that we all have to live in poverty or go to a foreign country and be missionaries. Let me share my notes in hopes I will be able to bridge this gap I have created.

First of all for me, I need to renew my mind (Romans 12:2), and relearn many things in God’s Word. My thoughts of the gospel are skewed from God’s Word. I also know and believe this will not be the last time I need to do this. I believe if we continue to grow in God’s Word, we will always need to renew our mind in many areas.

Why would I choose to share this?

Two reasons. Fear and Division. I really fear the judgement of God. A holy reverent fear that is terrified to face Him and hear the words of Matthew 7:23. Secondly, do nations crumble in a day? Do marriages fail in a week? Absolutely not, it is a slow fade that happens. Many times starting with a thought or a belief that is not corrected. The same goes for our faith. If our faith goes unchecked and uncorrected you will drift and become a self proclaimed Christian that bears no fruit, and lives a life picking and choosing God’s truths.

Piper talks about suffering for Christ. I have to ask myself what does that look like for me in 2017, with a wife, three kids, living in Hawaii. With jobs and responsibilities and so forth. I want to live a life fulfilling God’s purpose not my own. But I made a choice, I cannot hear a message like this and just walk away from it feeling emotionally moved for a week then continuing on.

What will this look like for you?

This will look different for every person that chooses to embrace the gospel. An unfiltered, not diluted, not American way infused but raw Christ-centered gospel.

Piper says:

“This is a call to embrace risk, to embrace suffering, to embrace pathway’s of love you know will be costly…the only kind of loves that are really going to change people are those kind of lives.”

It is all about what we hope in. Paul was anchored in Hope. The hope of the resurrection of Christ. The hope of eternity and the things to come in the next life.

Colossians 1:24

I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church…

What I got out of Piper’s explanations of this verse, he essentially says:

that the sufferings of Christ ended 2000 years ago. How do these sufferings continue across islands, continents and waters? God designed the sufferings of His Son to be carried and presented to people, in the sufferings of His people. Your suffering is designed to comfort and bless someone. Don’t waste it! Endure suffering with Joy! Don’t purse this path if you cant do it joyfully, you will make a bad name for Jesus.

What is the reason for the hope that is in you?

This is a question that has always plagued me, because no one ever asks me it. I remember Piper said previously that no one asks because there is nothing different.

Ouch, claiming to be a Christian yet we represent nothing different in our lives, words and actions.

Have you ever had a health scare, a life or family scare?

That is when things get real! You stop playing with Jesus. Jesus becomes 100% real or 100% fake! Joy arrives because the resurrection is real.

Let me close with another story Piper shared in the sermon.

A man was going through towns and villages in India trying to share the gospel. Many time rejected and violently pushed out of these villages. After being pushed out of one village the man decides to go rest under a tree. He wakes up to being surrounded by the village leaders. One of the men said that he noticed the blisters, scabs and sores on the bottom of his feet. The villager says, any man that is willing to share a message through that kind of pain, has an important message and they wanted him to come back and share the gospel with them.

Radical Risk! Jesus wants to shock the hell out of us. The hellish ease and comfort that the American dream promises! Like the women that gave all she had in front of the disciples. That wasn’t a command for them to do the same, Jesus just wanted to shock the hell out of them, the hellish love and pursuit of money and comfort.

My prayer is that this will rock you as it rocked me. That it will stir you to a deeper searching and openness about your faith. What you believe and how you are acting about it. This isn’t a call to legalism, but rather a genuine search of God’s heart and purpose for your life. Hint, it will look different than what you want it to be.

May the Lord fill you all.

Sermon and Article to Radical Effects of the Resurrection : http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/radical-effects-of-the-resurrection–2

Quotes are coped from John Piper at desiringgod.org

 

 

The Weak and Broken

Sermon of the Day: Radical Effects of the Resurrection 

Judges 6:15-16

15 So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”

16 And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”

 

If you have not read the story of Gideon I highly encourage it. What a powerful story with a powerful message.

Who was Gideon?

Up until Judges 6, Gideon was an absolute nobody in the eyes of Israel, his clan and in his fathers house. If you and I were in the land at that time looking for a leader to follow, trust me we would not have noticed Gideon. In fact if someone suggested him, we would have laughed at the thought.

So why did God choose Gideon? Paul has a great answer for us:

1 Corinthians 1:27-29

27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.

What are you good at? How often do we seek the Lord before doing something we are really good at? If your like me, never. It just comes so natural and so easy why seek God for help, right?

What blew me away was the story when Jesus went preaching in a boat with Simon Peter. Luke 5 gives us a nice picture of what happened before, during and after.

We are talking about professional fisherman that knew these waters better than any man. Yet they “toiled all night and caught nothing.” However when Jesus tells them to cast their net, they catch so much fish the net begins to break.

There is so much here and so much we could talk about, but I want to highlight how our skills, gifts and talents are all in God’s hands. If we are really honest, we are nothing without God. Do we have any control over waking up tomorrow morning? If you are highly skilled with your hands, do you have any control over the health and function of your muscles, nerves, joints and bones 5 years from now? If your gifted with your mind, do you have any control over the health and function of your memory and brain in 2 years?

I hope you get my point. God chooses the weak and lowly things of this world because the weak and lowly will choose Him. The more I learn about God from spending time in His word the more I realize how desperate I am for Him. The more I feel like Peter after catching all that fish.

Luke 5:8

 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”

The amazing thing is that God wants every single one of us in that place. To realize how frail we are in comparison to Him. To realize that we need a savior because every so called strength and talent we have are all gifts from Him to be used for Him. Our sinful flesh has a great way of getting that mixed up. We like to think we earned certain skills or accomplishments, we earned certain status or success. Unfortunately that’s baloney!

So what does Peter have to do with Gideon? I’m glad you asked.

Gideon recognized his weakness. God used Him in a mighty way.

Peter recognized his sinfulness. God used Him in a mighty way.

I believe scripture teaches in so many ways that we need to recognize, admit, repent these two things and turn to God to fill the void.

Look at this technique Gideon used to defeat the Midianites.

Judges 7:20

Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers—they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing—and they cried, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!”

If you read this chapter you will see several very unique techniques God uses to bring victory for Gideon and the children of Israel. However I want to focus on one of the several symbols that Dr. McGee pointed out in his commentary of this chapter.

So Gideon instructed his 300 soldiers to place their torches inside their empty pitchers. Then at the appointed time they were to smash the pitchers for the light to shine in the dark of the night.

2 Corinthians 4:7

 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

The pitchers that Gideon’s army was carrying is to represent the body of the believer. As believers in Jesus Christ we have a treasure inside of us, that treasure is God’s Holy Spirit. Light has come into this world through Jesus Christ. To offer hope, salvation, forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

We are to shine the light of Christ in this world when we live and move as blood bought children of the most high God. Dr. McGee says that “some of us are not broken and, as a result, the light does not shine through.”

Not sure about you, but that hit home for me. I want to remember what God says in Judges 6:16 up above: “surely I will be with you.”

I love that. Lets close with this verse. Knowing that in order to make the changes and see Christ for all He is.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Here is an old saying to remember about making changes, starting new habits especially for those that want to grow in the Lord.

“Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character and reap a destiny!”

 

A Great Reward

Sermon of the Day: Thy Word I Have Treasured in My Heart

Today’s message is on this sermon. This could be worth more than gold to you, even if you already listened to it.

Psalm 119:9-16

How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
10 With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.
12 Blessed are You, O Lord!
Teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I have declared
All the judgments of Your mouth.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.
16 I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.

Good Morning Men.

I was rocked by another sermon from Pastor John Piper. I took some notes and I would like to share my notes with you. My hope and prayer is that this message will impact every single one of us forever. That the things discussed here will become part of our daily walk with the Lord. I have attached a link to this sermon up above.

The verse above is actually one of favorite passages. It will be the starting point for Pastor John’s Sermon. Here are my notes.

We need to get God’s Word into our hearts.

Verse 11 – Your word = outside. My heart = inside.

The heart thinks and feels. Getting God’s Word in your heart is the place where it goes from out there to in here, to think, meditate and feel it.

How do you know God’s Word is in your heart?

Without banks, you would have to hide your treasure. This is an illustration of how not only is God’s Word a treasure for the human soul, but it should be treated as such. The treasure is secondary, to hide is to treasure. As we hide and treasure God’s Word in our hearts it is being stored like food in a pantry. We pull it out when we need it.

One way to keep from sinning against God, is to live for His glory. There are 2 things we need for that: We need the Word in our heart, we also need to treasure it! Just having it out there or in here will not do. It needs to be treasured.

When a big ugly temptation comes our way, pulls on us, a good solid Word from God that is not treasured will be of no use!

Treasuring the Word but not having it stored in us – we have nothing to grab onto. The Sword of the Spirit will cut the cord of temptations.

Conclusion = We must memorize scripture!

Like the ant preparing in the summer, we are to store it, hide it and treasure it (Proverbs 6).

In the Christian life seasons can change in an hour. What are you going to do when winter strikes out of nowhere!?

Pastor John’s church started, church wide Bible memorization in 1997 for all ages, memorizing 1 verse a week.

Professor Dallas Williard, former pastor stated: There is a “transformation of inner and outer life that comes from simply meditating and memorizing on scripture.”

Do you doubt that?

Suppose I said and could pay this, I will give you $1,000 for every verse you memorize. Would you do it?

(This really stung me. I have to assume this stung every heart that heard it, and my hope is that it stings you too.)

The issue is motivation.

Where is our heart?

God says they (His laws and commands) are more precious than gold, even fine gold. (Psalm 19:10-11)

Far greater than $1,000. Do we believe that? That is the issue. What is more believable to us, the benefits of God’s Word, or the benefit of $1,000!?

What a test!? When we say we cannot memorize, or we don’t prioritize it.

Jesus in the wilderness devoted Himself to memorizing scripture. Every time He was tempted He defeated the devil with scripture. Should we do it different than Jesus!?

Pastor John’s church started Fighter Verses. Fighting the devil and sin by memorizing a verse a week all year long, every year.

We know we can do it if we want to. Is our faith strong or is our faith weak?

Pastor John with over 30 years as a Pastor got saved at the age of 7, says that he does not know a strong Christian who does not know much scripture by heart.

God has designed faith to feed on the Word. If we do not feed our faith it atrophy’s. We wonder why we struggle!

Those were my notes for the first 25 minutes of the sermon. If you want to change your life, start growing in your walk, my encouragement would be to take these things to heart and start memorizing scripture.

Desiring God has created an app called Fighter Verses. I bought it and I have been using it for a week now. My hope is that all of you will choose to do this and memorize scripture for the rest of your lives. There is a great reward when we treasure God’s Word in our hearts (Psalm 19:10-11).

The part about choosing $1,000 a week over God’s Word cut me to the heart. I was intensely convicted that I valued the temporary fix of money over the eternal value of God’s Word.

If you have any thoughts or testimonies I would love to hear them.

Grace and Peace to all of you.

 

Does God’s Word Need to Always Be Easy

Sermon of the Day: Thy Word I Have Treasured in My Heart

Deuteronomy 29:29

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

Good Morning Men.

I hope and pray that all of you had a great week in the Lord last week. What I mean by that is if your life is anything like mine, it is filled with challenges. Highs and lows, however through the midst of it all you remain anchored in the Lord and His purpose and provision for your life.

I want to share a theme that has been on my heart and I have been meditating for a several days. It started from a John Piper sermon. For those of you that have downloaded the app, I encourage you to keep plugging in to this man. I know he will challenge each and every one of us to grow, and if you have an open heart you will walk away learning more about God every single time.

This sermon was titled ‘Why God Inspired Hard Texts‘. It really came at a great time for me personally. If I can be completely honest and transparent with all of you. I have been struggling in my devotion time with the Lord. I rather not bore you with my excuses, but lets use a verse to paraphrase my actions: The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matt. 26:41).

Of course when the flesh is weak sin is present or knocking at the door. Reading through Joshua 7 and 8 recently I am reminded of how important it is to confess my sins. Not generally speaking, but being specific with God. He knows already, why do I feel like I need to sugar coat it. I am getting a little off topic here but I wanted to share a couple things on sin. First of all 1 Corinthians 11:31 scares me and I want to obey it. Secondly look at what Dr. McGee says:

“There can be no joy in your life; there can be no power in your life; there can be no victory in your life; until there is confession of sin.”

We must confess our sin, turn from our sin only then will we experience the joy of the Lord.

So I re-listened to this sermon and I took some notes. Pastor John is “meaty” (thanks for that description Chad) and my goal is to bring it down to our level and help us break this down into chew-able pieces.

Men, have you ever understood everything you read in the Bible?

I feel confident to boldly say every one of us would have to say no. So why does God make some passages difficult to understand? If we are being honest here, most of the Old Testament at first glance is way over the average readers head. Even going through the New Testament with a deeper study and approach reveals that there is radically so much more in every word and verse.

So lets get into these notes I took. Just as a disclaimer, this is really just a snap shot of what Pastor John so wonderfully illustrated and brought to life in his sermon. My goal is just to extract what I heard and hopefully bring it to life for each of us. My notes will be mostly paraphrasing many of the things he said. So please know that primarily these are John Pipers thoughts that I have paraphrased.

The text of the sermon was Romans 3:1-8.

Pastor John really brought to life verse 2. Here God Basically says that one of the highest privileges is to possess this book. This book is so much more than words, it is the oracles of God.

When you bump against a difficult text. Our minds may say why is this so hard? If its such a privilege? Especially if children are expected to read this (Matthew 18:2-4). If you have spent any decent amount of time trying to read God’s Word, I’m sure this has happened to you.

Pastor John asks a great question and gives us four answers.

So if God is a good communicator, and wants people to know Him, love Him and trust Him, then why is it so hard?

  1. God Unleashed Desperation – a sense of utter dependence on God’s help and enablement. 1 Corinthians 2:14 talks about the natural man. This is the man that does not have the Holy Spirit living inside of him, basically an unbelieving individual. However either way we have these same natural tendencies, we are fallen creatures born into sin. I am so fallen and so sinful and therefore desperately need God’s Holy Spirit to illuminate the Oracles of God for me.
  2. Supplication – When your feeling desperate, what do you do? Of course, we pray. Now look at how the Psalmist describes his desperation for the Word of God in these verses:

Psalm 119:18 NIV

Open my eyes that I may see
    wonderful things in your law.

Psalm 25:5 NIV

Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.

If everything was crystal clear in the Bible, clear enough for a 7 year old to read. Would we pray? Would we pray like the Psalmist?

3. Cogitation – don’t worry I never heard of this word either. But it is the action of thinking deeply about something.

So when God inspires a writer to write something difficult, He intends for us to use everything at our disposal. Including really thinking hard about something and trying to seek Him, seek Godly advice, and books and other resources for the answer. We are to think hard and ask questions.

Pastor John then talked about how there may be some confusion at this point for some. Is it prayer? Or is it deep thinking?

2 Timothy 2:7 clears that up for us a little bit. The Lord will grant you the understanding as you think through God’s language. Much like Proverbs 2 mentions, we must search for it as we would for hidden treasure.

4. Education – God’s Word brings this out of those who pursue God’s Word diligently through prayer and hard thinking. Check out 2 Timothy 2:2. God releases impulses for education, education comes from God!

I have known a few men personally that would claim to have read less books than they can count on one hand before knowing Christ. These same men have now become avid readers, hungering after God’s Word. If you have just heard Pastor John speak he is so eloquent and educated and I know that is directly related to his life long pursuit to know and understand God’s Word. The desire and fruit of education has sprung to life through a pursuit after God’s Word.

I hope this helps men.

Blessings and Love

 

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