Sunday Morning Sermon Notes

  • You Shall Know The Truth, And The Truth Shall Set You Free! - “God’s Divine Design, Or Man’s Redesign Of Heterosexual Marriage, Sexual Orientation, And Sexual Identity.”

  • Terms Of Endearment

  • You Shall Know The Truth, And The Truth Shall Set You Free! - Depending On God To Change The Man In The Mirror.

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*************** TERMS OF ENDEARMENT ***************

04-07-2019   Part 1 

As most of you know, usually twice in a year during the resurrection or Easter season, and then during the Christmas season as well.

It’s good for us to take a break from the current topic that we are involved with at this time. So that we can focus on our first Love, and the most important ONE in all the Bible, and that is the LORD Jesus Christ!  Amen.

For He is the One and Only, God-Man!

Having two natures at the same time being fully God and fully man (Human).

For Theologians called this “the Hypostatic Union!”

Listen, this truth about our Savior should be at the heart of our Christmas celebrations, and at the heart of our Easter or Resurrection celebrations as well!

Always remember that Jesus Christ is this one unique person possessing two distinct natures.  And therefore, making it possible for many to be in a right relationship with their Creator because of Him, and Him only.

Sometimes it’s really easy to forget this reality concerning the humanity or the human side of Jesus.

For we can focus so much on His deity, and that’s very important don’t get me wrong!

But, we can focus so on His much deity that we fail to appreciate and benefit from the human side, and the relational side of Jesus.

If you think about it, Jesus came into this world having direct contact with people and with individuals from the beginning of His earthly life in the manger, right up until His heavenly ascension at the Mount of Olives in Acts chapter 1.

For 33 years the God-Man was very human in every way.

For example, He chose not to isolate Himself but to be sociable, available, and approachable.  Developing many personal relationships.  As well as, interacting with His culture and His society, yet never being conformed unto It.

But being to builder and redeemer of men, although it was costly for Him.  Many times, being inconvenience.

Or, other times being judged and misunderstood.  And ultimately it brought about being forsaken, and betrayed, and crucified!

So that mankind could have and experience an everlasting relationship that will never end.  That will always be fulfilling and blessed.  And, that will help us to stay connected and dependent upon the Lord Himself.

Therefore, during this special month, during this special season, with God’s help, we want to begin his new topic that we want to call, “Terms Of Endearment.”

Now, in the Bible there are some terms or names of endearment that the Lord Jesus used concerning us.  And also, there are other terms of endearment that also refers to us in other places of the New Testament, that we will consider.

But listen, the most important thing to remember is, that these terms or names of endearment that God has so graciously bestowed upon us, are to help us to understand the type of relationship that God wants to have with us who are building and developing their own personal relationship with Him.

For example, some of the terms or names of endearment that we will look at overtime are, friend, which is a term of endearment.

Next, brother, another term of endearment.                                                                  Also, Ambassador, another term of endearment just to name a few.

However, for this afternoon let’s consider the first term of endearment that was mention from the list, that describes the type of relationship that God wants to have with you and I and the first one is friend!  Wow!

You mean God wants to befriend me!”

By the way, there is a current network television series with a similar title called, “God Friended Me!” it airs local on Sunday nights.

So, you Are telling me that you and I can have a friendship with God?

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have some hang-ups when it comes to relating to God as a friend!

Maybe, it’s because of the types of human friendships that I have had!                     Maybe, it’s because I, myself in some cases have failed to be the kind of friend that I should have been.

Also, for me, the word “friend” when It comes to my interaction with God can seems somewhat superficial.  Or, a bit too casual, and not reverent, or honoring!  Kind of like some individuals today who want to refer to God as,                                                    “My Big Buddy in the sky!”                                                                                                “My Homie.”                                                                                                                     “My Amigo.

Yet, on the other hand, the word friend or friendship in the Bible, God uses it to show how He feels about us, and how we can feel about Him as well.

Listen, this particular term of endearment “friend,” when it comes to God, and God with us is something that is greatly needed in our lives today!

With all the problems and pressures of life that so many of us are facing, it sure looks like we could use a real friend right about now!

And you know what many centuries ago, that’s what the Disciples of Jesus felt like the night before His crucifixion.

They need a real friend!                                           

Now notice St. John 15: 15, Jesus is speaking, no longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what His Master is doing.  But I (Jesus said) I have called you “friends.”  Because all things that I heard from My Father, I have made it known unto you.

NOTE: Share some background concerning St. John 15:15 and some of the circumstances that everyone was facing that night in the upper room, before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.                                                                                                 

Maybe as a personal assignment in preparation for the Easter season that we are in.     And read for yourself St. John Chapter 13 thru chapter 17.                                            Five very important chapters that demonstrated Jesus true friendship and love that He had for His 12 Disciples, yes even Judas!

Let me give me a flavor of what was going on that night in the upper room!

For example, see St. John 13: 1-5.                                                                                      The symbolic cleansing and forgiveness of His Disciples.                                                    Vs. 1.  Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.         Vs. 2.  And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him,                                                                             Vs. 3.  Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,                                                                   Vs. 4.  rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.     Vs. 5.  After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

Next, see St. John 13: 21-30.                                                                                              Judas’ plan is revealed And He is dismissed from the group.                                        Vs. 21.  When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.                                             Vs. 22.  Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.     Vs. 23.  Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.       Vs. 24.  Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke. Vs. 25.  Then, leaning back on Jesus' breast, he said to Him, "Lord, who is it?                   Vs. 26.  Jesus answered, It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it. And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Vs. 27.  Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, What you do, do quickly. Vs. 28.  But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him.                    Vs. 29.  For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, Buy those things we need for the feast, or that he should give something to the poor.                                Vs. 30.  Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately.  And it was night.

Lastly. see St. John 13: 37& 38, Jesus also reveals Peter’s rejection and denial of Him.                                    Vs. 37.  Peter said to Him, Lord, why can I not follow You now?  I will lay down my life for Your sake.               Vs. 38.  Jesus answered him, will you lay down your life for My sake?   Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.

It’s no wonder Jesus said these words, in see St. John 14: 1.                                          Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

Now see Proverbs 18:                                                                                                    Vs. 24.  A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: And there is “a friend” that sticketh closer than a brother.

Listen, the song writer said, “What a friend we have in Jesus all our sins and grieves to bear.                  What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.                                                     Oh, what peace we often forfeit.                                                                                      Oh, what needless pain we bear!                                                                                           All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!

04-014-2019    Part 2  

During this special month, during this special season, with God’s help, we want to continue with our newest topic that we are calling, “God’s Terms Or Words Of Endearment.”

These special words, or terms of endearment that are personal and intimate, they are meant to be relational sentiments between God and His people!

In fact, in the Bible the Lord Jesus Christ used certain terms or words of endearment concerning His followers.

And also, in other places of the New Testament there are additional terms or words of endearment between God and His people as well!

But remember that these terms or words of endearment that God has bestowed upon us so graciously should help anyone to understand the type of relationship that God wants to have with us who are building and developing their own personal relationship with Him.

So, this afternoon lets continue with our first term or word of endearment, because this is a way that God sees us in Christ, as friends, and not just servants, but friends. Wow!

Now notice St. John 15: 15, Jesus is speaking, No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what His Master is doing.  But I, (Jesus said) I have called you ‘friends’.  Because all things that I heard from My Father, I have made it known unto you.

Listen, by God’s Grace and for the rest of our days, you and I are to cultivate and maintain a personal relationship, and a bonafide friendship with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

But first, we may need to overcome some of our hang-ups that we may have when it comes to God as our friend!                                                                                             •For example, a lack of understanding and appreciation of the word friend or friendship.

Because these two words, friend or friendship that are used quite often in our culture or society, means a lot of things to a lot of people.

Kind of like the word ‘love’, that is tossed around by so many.

And so likewise, the words, friend or friendship for the most part has lost its meaning and significance, because we apply it to people and individuals who probably don’t deserve that recognition in our lives.

Here are some definitions or ideas for the word friend and friendship.                            A friend is someone whom you can trust, depend upon, or rely upon.                               *A friend is someone who can admit and apologize when they are wrong or have messed up.                A friend is someone who can forgive you and move on when there has been confession, true repentance, and an apology along with an understanding of what they said or did and how it affected you.                   A friend is someone who can keep things confidential, whatever you have shared with them.                      A friend is someone in whom you can communicate with.                                               A friend is loyal and committed to you and the relationship.  Willing to stand by you through thick and thin! Through good times and bad times.                                               A friend is honest and truthful with you at all times.                                                           A friend is someone you enjoy spending time with, and doing things together with.            A friend is someone who would sacrifice what they have, or even go without, so that your needs might be met.

Some synonyms for the word friend, are;                                                                       Companion, Comrade, Confidant, Compadre.

•Now another hang-up that we may have when it comes to God as our friend, it’s because of our own personal experiences with human friendships or with so-called friends.

•Still another hang-up that we may have when it comes to God as our friend, is that we would be overly concerned that we are being irreverent or superficial with God!

•Another hang-up that we may have when it comes to God as our friend, are.                                                                                                    feelings of unworthiness.                                                                                                   Or, I’m too busy for that kind of relationship!                                                                         Or, I’m so above all that kind of friendship stuff!

•And lastly, another hang-up that we may have when it comes to God as our friend, might be because of my current lifestyle choices.  Or, my conduct or behavior at this time.  So then, I don’t want God to tell me what to do!  Nor, do I want God telling me what I am doing is wrong like a good friend should!

But please remember that this particular term or word of endearment can really help us to understand that there is another type of relationship that God wants to have with you and I who are ready for something more.

This particular term or word of endearment concerning friendship, needs to be seen from God‘s point of view and not just ours!

Listen, this particular term or word of endearment, ‘friend’, should help us and not hinder us, in building and developing a closer and personal relationship with the LORD.

Now again, in the Bible the Lord Jesus Christ used this word ‘friend’ on several occasions.  For this special term of endearment, He reserved it for His followers, and surprisingly for others that you and I would not expect!

First, notice the Lord’s use of this special term of endearment that He reserved for His followers!

Again, notice St. John 15: 15, Jesus is speaking, no longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what His Master is doing.  But I, (Jesus said) have called you ‘friends’.  Because all things that I heard from My Father, I have made it known unto you.

Now see St. John 15:                                                                                                        Vs. 12. This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.            Vs. 13. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for His friends.

Also See St. John 10:                                                                                                          Vs. 11.  I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.            Vs. 17. Therefore, My Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it again.                     Vs. 18. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.

Notice St. John 11:                                                                                                          Vs. 1.  Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.                  Vs. 3.  Therefore, the sisters sent to Him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.                            Vs. 5.  Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.                                              Vs. 11. These things said Jesus: and after that He said unto the Disciples, our friend Lazarus is sleep; but I go, that I may awake him out of his sleep.                                      Vs. 14.  Then Jesus said to them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

And finally, lets notice the Lord’s use of this special term of endearment ‘friend’ that surprisingly He would use for others that you and I would not expect!

For example, Luke 7: 34. Jesus is speaking about the accusations of the Pharisees against Him, saying, the Son of Man is come eating and drinking; And you say, behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber.  A friend of publicans and sinners!

In fact, turn to Luke 15:                                                                                                     Vs. 1.  Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Jesus to hear Him.          Vs. 2.  But the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, this Man receives sinners and eats with them.       Vs. 3.  So, Jesus spoke this parable to them, saying:                                                         Vs. 4.  What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 

And lastly notice our Lord’s reaction to one of the most notorious Sinner whoever lived!

Now notice Matthew 26:                                                                                                 Vs. 48.  Now, His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.        Vs. 49.  Immediately Judas went up to Jesus and said, Greetings, Rabbi! and kissed Him.                            Vs. 50.  But Jesus said to him, friend, why have you come? Then the guards came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.

See Psalms 41:                                                                                                                                            Vs. 9.  Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.                                                                                                               

See Psalms 55:                Vs. 12.  For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, then I could bear it.  Nor, was it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; For then I could hide from him.                                                 Vs. 13.  But it was you, a man, my equal, my guide or my companion, friend, and my acquaintance.

04-21-2019    Part 3   

Well, on this very special day, during this wonderful season that we have had a chance to be renewed and to rededicate ourselves unto God anew and afresh.

So, with God’s help, we want to continue with our newest topic that we are calling, “God’s Terms Or Words Of Endearment.”

And we have been learning together for the last couple of Sundays, that there are some special words, or terms of endearment that are very personal and intimate, and they are meant to be relational sentiments between God and His people!

In fact, in the Bible the Lord Jesus Christ on occasion used certain words or terms of endearment concerning His followers.

Also, in other places of the New Testament there are additional words or terms of endearment that are used between God and His people as well.

And we will learn more about these things during the next Christmas and Easter and/or Resurrection seasons.

But this afternoon lets finish up our first word or term of endearment that we been considering for the last two Sundays.   This is another way that God sees us in Christ, and that is as friends, and not just servants, but friends. Wow!

Now notice St. John 15: 15, Jesus is speaking, no longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what His Master is doing.  But I, Jesus said I have called you ‘friends’.  Because all things that I heard from my Father, I have made it known unto you.

Listen, by the Grace of God, and for the rest of our days, you and I have the privilege to cultivate and maintain a personal relationship, and a bonafide friendship with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Now this particular concept about friendship with God, I truly believe can help us to understand that there is another level in our relationship with God to consider, that our LORD wants you and I to have who are ready for something more.

Show you what I mean!

Now notice James 2: 23, and the scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.  And he was called the friend of God.

Now see Isaiah 41: 8.  For the Prophet Isaiah is speaking to the people of God, on behalf of God. “But you Israel, are my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, you are the descendants of Abraham my friend.”

Listen, and you can search this out later in the days ahead, but according to Genesis chapter 12 thru chapter 25, a total of 14 chapters.

We see the God of heaven reaches out to an ordinary man on earth, to initiate, to begin a personal relationship a friendship that would change and affect Abraham’s destiny.

But also, that would change and affect the destiny of mankind forever, if this ordinary man would believe God, and would receive what God wanted to do in and through His life.

So then, with God’s help if we can understand the relationship between Abraham and God, and the apparent friendship they shared with one another.

Then that will help us to understand what a friendship and a relationship with God, could look like for us as well.

Therefore, there are three major segments in the life of Abraham that I would like us to briefly touch on, so, that we can observe the similarities between God and Abraham’s relationship and friendship, and the relationship and friendship God wants to have with you and me, who are in Christ Jesus!

Now the first major segment, or chapter from the life of Abraham that I would like us to observe from Genesis chapter 12: 1-9, was how the LORD initiated a relationship and friendship with Abraham.

Think about it, out of all the people on the earth at that time, the LORD chose and selected this man, this person!

Next, God imposes certain conditions within their friendship.  For example, Abraham must leave his family and his homeland.

Then, Abraham must go to a place he has never been before, that God said He would give unto him.  And that God said I will let you know when you get there!

Abraham must believe that God would make him the progenitor of both a physical nation and a spiritual nation even though right now in Abraham’s life all of this seems to be impossible.

Question.  Because you and I are in Christ, do we believe that the LORD has initiated a relationship and friendship with certain conditions?

See Luke 9: 23. Then He said to them all, if anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Now, the next major segment, or chapter from the life of Abraham that I would like us to observe is from Genesis chapter 22: 1-19, God requires and demands the preeminence in their relationship and friendship with one another.

Abraham must be willing when the time comes to sacrifice the promise child, the one in whom you delight and love!

Question.  Do you think God still requires and demands the preeminence in His relationship and friendship that He has with you and me who are truly saved?

See Colossians 1: 18.  And Christ is the head of the Body, the Church, who is the beginning.  The firstborn from the dead, or to be resurrected.  That in all things, He may have the preeminence.

Now the last major segment, or chapter from the life of Abraham that I would like us to observe is from Genesis chapter 25:1-11, in which God helps Abraham to understand that their relationship and friendship was not just earthly and temporal, but heavenly and eternal.

Because Sarah, his wife eventually dies before him.  But surprisingly, Abraham would remarry and have more children.

Also, both Isaac and Ishmael his sons would move on and start their own lives and families somewhere else.

But now that Abraham was now 175 years old, He understood that all this that he had experienced was only temporary, the best was yet to come!

Question, do you think God ultimately wants to help you and me who are truly saved, to understand that our friendship Is not just earthly and temporal, but heavenly and eternal?

See Hebrews 11:                                                                                                             Vs. 8.  By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance.   And he went out, not knowing where he was going. Vs. 9.  By faith Abraham dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise!                        Vs. 10.  But Abraham waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Note: Please read for yourselves Revelation chapters 21 and 22 to understand what Abraham was waiting for!

Now, with the time remaining there are two basic questions to ask and to answer.

First, what is our part when it comes to our friendship with God?

Secondly, what is God’s part when it comes to His friendship with us?

First, what is our part when it comes to our friendship with God?

See St. John 15 14. You are my friends, if you do whatsoever, I command you.

Now see James 4: 4. You adulterers and adulteresses!  Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity or hostility or causes friction with God?  Whoever therefore, wants to be a friend of the world makes themselves an enemy of God.

And lastly, what is God’s part when it comes to His friendship with us?

Proverbs 18: 24.  A man that has friends must shew himself friendly: And there is a friend that will stick closer than a brother.

And See Proverbs 17: 17.  A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

“Depending On God To Change The Man In The Mirror.”

06-09-2019    Part 1     Sunday

Now let me read some familiar words, from St. John 8:                                                    Vs. 31.  Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed in Him, If you abide in My Word you are My disciples indeed.                                                                                                 Vs. 32.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

As most of you know we are involved in a biblical series that we have entitled, “You Shall Know The Truth And The Truth Shall Set You Free!” 

And it is my hope involved in a biblical series that we have entitled, “You Shall Know The Truth”, And that over time that this particular series that God will use to help us to better understand His will, plan, and purpose for our lives, for our families, for our culture, and for our society as a whole!

But also, that this particular series will help us to address Biblically, some important issues, concerns, and controversies that are a part of our world today that sometime we may be uncomfortable or unwilling to deal with!

For example, last year for most of 2018 we dealt with the subject of forgiveness and unforgiveness, or to forgive or not to forgive!

And in February of this year until June 2, 2019, we dealt with the subject of, “God’s Divine Design, Or Man’s Redesign Of Heterosexual Marriage, Heterosexual Orientation, And Heterosexual Identity.”

And therefore, I believe the LORD has been helping us as a church family, along with any guests or visitors. To address Biblically, some of the Issues, concerns, and controversies that are a part of our world today that at times we may be uncomfortable or unwilling to deal with!

And once again with God’s help, we want to begin another new topic within this series, that I believe for all of us we will find personally challenging, but spiritually beneficial if applied!

Now how many of you recall the Michael Jackson song called, “Man In The Mirror”?  It was released in January 1988, 31 years ago. With lyrics by Siedah Garrett and music by Glen Ballard, but produced by Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones.

Question, if you heard this song what do you think Michael Jackson was singing about?

In fact, there is a part in the song that has these words.                                               “I’m starting with the man in the mirror.                                                                         I'm asking him to change his ways, no message could have been any clearer.              If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change!”

Question, what do you think Michael Jackson was singing about?

In my humble opinion the major theme of this song is the need for self-realization along with self-determination. So that together, they will bring about personal change and societal change.

But is this kind of change really that easy for us to do?

Listen, apart from God and our willingness to cooperate with him in our Lives, *Can we really change ourselves for the long-term.  And can we really change ourselves from the inside, so that we are different on the outside?

But what if I told you there is away with God’s help, and our willingness to cooperate with Him in our lives.

There is a way that we can experience personal change, and thereby we can bring about societal changes for the Glory of God.

I mean, a real and lasting change that starts from within. And then it will affect you and I outwardly, so much so that our conduct, our choices, our actions, and even our behavior Is dramatically different than it was before!

Now notice the KJV James 1:                                                                                       Vs. 21.  Wherefore, lay apart, or setting aside all filthiness, or moral defilement, or anything that will defile you morally and ethically!                                                       •Wherefore lay apart, or setting aside all filthiness, and superfluity. Which means, something in great abundance, or of a large quantity or amount.                      •Wherefore, lay apart all filthiness, and superfluity of naughtiness.

Which, in this case means, moral badness, or unbridle depravity that wants to corrupt and influence another or others.                                                                                  Also, naughtiness in this case can mean, having evil Intentions or wickedness.            Or, having ill-will that desires to injure or hurt another.

•Wherefore lay apart all filthiness, and superfluity of naughtiness and receive with meekness the engrafted or implanted Word, which is able to save your souls.  Wow!

Did you notice how much the Word of God plays an important part in our lives in bringing about our salvation.

But now, notice how much the Word of God plays an important part in our lives in bringing about our sanctification as well.

Now see vs. 22.  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Notice this very helpful example given in vs. 23&24.                                                     Vs. 23. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a glass or a mirror;                                                                                   Vs. 24. Because he observes himself, but goes away and immediately forgets what kind of man he was at that moment.                                                                                      Vs. 25. However, the one who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what they do.

So again, what if I told you there is a way with God’s help, and our willingness to cooperate with Him in our lives. There is a way that we can experience personal change, and thereby we can bring about societal changes for the Glory of God.

Not a superficial change, but a real and lasting change that starts from within. And then it will affect you and I outwardly, so much so that our conduct, our choices, our actions, and even our behavior is dramatically different than it was before!

Therefore, our new topic will be called, “Depending On God To Change The Man In The Mirror.”

Especially, in those times when you and I can be overly critical about certain matters.

Or, how we can be very judgmental about what a person said or did in a given situation, or circumstance that they found themselves In.

Or, how we can be intolerant, or prejudice, or a bigot, or even a racist when dealing with certain people!

Listen, even though as a child of God, a committed follower of Jesus Christ, we still need God’s help (DAILY), in dealing with and overcoming those times when we can be overly critical about certain matters.

Or, how we can be very judgmental about what a person said or did in a given situation, or circumstance that they found themselves In.

Or, how we can be intolerant, or prejudice, or a bigot, or even a racist when dealing with certain people!

May I give you a Bible reading and studying recommendation or a project that you might want to consider over the summer months?

Would you consider reading and studying the Epistle or the Book of James throughout this summer?

Because in each chapter one or more key things will stand out and will require God’s help for you and I to change.

For example, in chapter 1.  Subduing bad anger.  Notice vs. 19 & 20.                               In chapter 2.  Exposing how we can easily mistreat others.  Notice vs. 1-4.                  In chapter 3. Controlling the way we speak and what we say to others.  Notice vs 1-12.                             In chapter 4. Repenting from bad attitudes.  Notice vs. 1-17.                                          And in chapter 5. Committing to do what is right and to be helpful.  Notice vs. 1-20.

Now, remember the Apostle James’s example in James 1: 23 & 24.                            Vs. 23.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word, and not a doer, that person is like an individual, observing their natural face.

Note: This would be their morning face after waking up. This is the face before washing!  These are the teeth and breath before cleaning!

If they are an adult male, this would Include the face before combing or brushing facial hair, if they have such!

Now, if they are an adult female, this would Include the face before applying lotion or make-up!  Again, this is the natural face!

Next notice vs. 24 says, for they observe themselves in a mirror, yet goes away, or turn away from the mirror, and immediately forgets, what kind of person they were. The morning face after waking up!  This is the face before washing! these are the teeth and breath before cleaning!                                              And again vs. 24 says, for they observe themselves in a mirror, yet goes away, or turn away from the mirror, and immediately forgets, what kind of person they were.

But how is this possible?                                                                                                The answer is, they deceive their own selves.                                                               The answer is, they delude their own selves.

Listen, for them, the mirror is not a tool for correction, or for improvement, or for change.                Listen, the mirror has become merely an item to have and to own, but not to inform, or to bring about change for them.                                                                                            Listen, if a mirror is used correctly it can be a necessary tool, to bring correction and improvement to the one who is unable to see, what others see.

The playwright, William Shakespeare, from one of his famous plays, a play called "Hamlet."  One of the characters says to his son, "To thine own self be true."

What does this quote from Shakespeare mean to you?

06-16-2019   Part 4

On this very special day with God’s help, I would like us to return back to a topic that we shared back in 2018 on both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

And then again on Mother’s Day 2019, we return back to this topic that we called, “What Would God Have Every Mother And Father To Know And to Do For their Child Or Children, No Matter What their Ages Are?”

So, today on this last Father’s Day of this decade, we will continue with this topic, in fact this will be part 4, for this time we would like to encourage and challenge all the fathers, or anyone who is in a fathering role raising up the next generation.

Now, if you have with you a pen or a pencil, or if you can borrow one.

Also, if you noticed in your bulletin today, an insert page that says at the top of the page, ‘NOTES’!

Please have them ready because I will have for you three important words that I want you to be able to write down and remember.

Now with God’s help, I want to especially encourage and challenge each one of you who are fathers, or you would like to be some day.

Perhaps you are already in a fathering role raising up the next generation in some capacity.

Like a Grandfather or Great Grandfather. A Step-Dad, an Adopted Dad, a Foster Dad, a Guardian, a Play-Dad, or a Spiritual-Father.  Or, a Mentor. An Educator or a Sunday School/Youth Dept. Teacher, Worker, or Volunteer.

I want to encourage and challenge each one of you.                                                                            In fact, could you please write down and remember these three familiar words I want to share with you.

Because they will help you to know what God would have you to know and to do for the child or the children, no matter what their ages are. Whether from the childhood years, or all the way into their adult years, and everything in between!

Now when you write these three words, write each word on the left side of your paper, and stack them on top of each other.  

Now, please write down these three words,                                                                                             •Faith.                                                                                                                                                          •Hope.                                                                                                                                                     •And Love or Agape.

See I Corinthians 13: 13, and now abide Faith, Hope, Love, these three; But the greatest of these is Love.

May I give an important observation of God’s divine design for fathers and mothers.             Listen, generally speaking unfortunately there are exceptions.                                                        But generally speaking, God’s designed mothers to be nurturers of the next generation.          And generally speaking, and unfortunately there are exceptions.                                                But generally speaking, God’s designed fathers to lead the next generation.

At least three ways God designed fathers to lead the next generation.                                      First, fathers are to lead by example.                                                                                           Secondly, fathers are to lead by being that patient teacher or instructor concerning the spiritual things in life.  Or, concerning the moral and/or the ethical things in life.  Or, concerning the practical things in life.                                                                                                                                                                                  And Thirdly, fathers are to lead by being that rock, that strength-giver, that stabilizer within the home, and within a family.

But also, and just as important, God’s designed fathers to lead the next generation, in these three spiritual disciplines as well.                                                                                                   •Faith.                                 •Hope                                                                                                                                               •And Love or Agape.

Now, see II Timothy 3:                                                                                                                Vs. 10.  But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,                                                                                                       Vs. 11.  persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra what persecutions I endured.  And, out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Now again, notice vs 10,                                                                                                                   But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance.

First, let’s understand God’s designed for fathers to lead the next generation, in this important spiritual discipline that is called “faith.”

And let’s consider three specific areas concerning faith.                                                           •Our faith in action.                                                                                                                          •Our faith in God.                                                                                                                             •Our faithfulness in relationships, i.e. with God, with family, and with friends.

Now our next spiritual discipline that God designed for fathers to lead the next generation is in the area of “Hope.”

See Lamentation 3:                                                                                                                      Vs. 21.  This I recall to my mind, therefore, I have hope.                                                               Vs. 22.  Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. Vs. 23.  For they are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.                                             Vs. 24.  The Lord is my portion says my soul, therefore, I hope in Him!

And now, the last spiritual discipline that God designed for fathers to lead the next generation is in the area of “Love,” or Agape.

And see again II Timothy 3:                                                                                                              Vs. 10.  But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance.                                                                                                        And let’s consider three specific area concerning love.                                                               •Our love in action.                                                                                                                           •Our love for God.                                                                                                                                •Our love for others, i.e. family, friends, people in general.

For example, see Romans 12:                                                                                                                Vs. 9.  Let love be without hypocrisy, How?  Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

Listen, God’s love is uncompromising when it comes to good and evil. When it comes to right and wrong. When it comes to sin or not to sin.

Again vs. 9 says. Let love be without hypocrisy, How?                                                                  Now, see vs. 10.  Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;                                                                                                              Vs. 11.  Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;                                          Vs. 12.  Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;                           Vs. 13.  Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.                                            Vs. 14.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.                                                          Vs. 15.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.                                         Vs. 16.  Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.                                               Vs. 17.  Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.          Vs. 18.  If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.                         Vs. 19.  Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.                                                                           Vs. 20. Therefore, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.                                                                                  Vs. 21.  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

The Swan and the Crane     Written by Joshua Becker·

There is an old fable involving a swan and a crane that reads like this:

A beautiful swan alighted by the banks of the water in which a crane was wading about seeking snails. For a few moments, the crane viewed the swan in stupid wonder and then inquired:

“Where do you come from?”

“I come from heaven!” replied the swan.

“And where is heaven?” asked the crane.

“Heaven!” said the swan, “Heaven! Have you never heard of heaven?”  And the beautiful bird went on to describe the grandeur of her home. She told of streets of gold, and the gates and walls made of precious stones, and of rivers, pure as crystal. In eloquent terms the swan sought to describe the hosts who live in the other world, but without arousing the slightest interest on the part of the crane.

Finally, the crane asked: “Are there any snails there?”

“Snails!” repeated the swan; “No! Of course, there are not.”

“Then,” said the crane, as it continued its search along the slimy banks of the pool, “you can have your heaven. I want snails!”

06-23-2019  Part 13

And let us return back to our once a month topical series called, “What We Believe And Why?”

Each month as the LORD leads, and usually on the 4th or, if there is a 5th Sunday in a given month.

We are considering what the Bible says and teaches us about,                                 *The Fundamentals,                                                                                                            *The Basics,                                                                                                                  *The Core Truths                                                                                                                For being a committed follower of Jesus Christ, or you would like to be one day.

Now this afternoon, let’s continue to understand what the Bible teaches about the very nature of salvation that comes from God, by again focusing upon these eight essential elements from which God’s salvation from it’s very beginning, until it’s completion and fulfillment for that person who believes and receives it from God.

Now the eight essential elements are                                                                                        •Divine election.                                                                                                                       •Regeneration/a new birth.                        •Justification.                                                                                          •Sanctification.                                                                                                                            •Sonship or a personal relationship/friendship.                                                                     •Eternal security.                                                                                                                   •Non-conformity.                                                                                               •Glorification/resurrection.

Now last month we considered the second essential element from which God’s salvation from its very beginning, until it’s completion and fulfillment for the person who believes and receives it from God, and that was regeneration/a new birth!

Now this afternoon, let’s consider the next essential element from which God’s salvation from its very beginning, until it’s completion and fulfillment for the person who believes and receives it from God, and that would be Justification!

Now notice Romans 5:                                                                                                       Vs. 18. Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation.  Even so through one man’s righteous act, the free gift came to all men resulting in justification of life.                   Vs. 19.  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.  So, also by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

Now notice again Romans 5:                                                                                           Vs. 18.  Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation.  Even so through one man’s righteous act, the free gift came to all men resulting in justification of life.

So, what does the words justification or justify mean?

•The Standard English Definition. The action of showing something to be right or reasonable.  A reason why something is correct, morally rightness.                                  •The Theological Biblical Definition.  For example, The Theological Biblical Definition can be summarized like this!

Being justified by God, or justification by faith alone and not by works, links us unto Jesus Christ. Who He is, that is, He is the just one, and the Justifier.

Also, justification by faith alone and not by works, links us unto what Jesus Christ has done for sinners, being the atoning sacrifice for those who place their faith or trust in Him.

Next, a theological Biblical definition can be summarized like this!

Being justified by God, or justification by faith alone, links us unto God’s righteousness.

Finally, a theological Biblical definition can be summarized like this!

Being justified by God, or justification by faith alone, links us unto sanctification.

Now two pictures that may help us understand and appreciate divine justification, or being justified by God.

The first picture is, after the birth especially of a premature child who needs medical Intervention.             •This premature new born needs something to strengthen their immune system.            •This premature new born needs nutrients for their body, etc.

Listen, likewise, after our spiritual new birth we receive from God immediately, several essential things that needful for spiritual growth and development are given.  For example, divine acceptance, approval, protection, and security, just to name a few.

Now again, there are two pictures that may help us understand and appreciate divine justification, or being justified by God.

The second picture is, after a legal conviction, because you and I really did it. We have been found guilty, and now are awaiting sentencing.

First, the need we have for mercy from the judge.                                                            The need we have for a second chance, or special consideration or understanding.       The need we have for a court appointed counseling to help us to get to a better place.

Listen, likewise, after a legal conviction, because you and I really did It. We have been found guilty, and are now awaiting sentencing.

For example, we need divine forgiveness.  An acquittal.  A righteousness apart from ourselves.  Peace with God.  And a sanctification that brings about transformation.

In fact, sanctification and justification are not synonyms!

Divine justification and sanctification are actually and uniquely connected to each other like the two opposite sides of the same coin, heads and tails!

Yet, there is a big difference between sanctification and justification.

First, divine justification is, instant, immediate, permanent, can never be repeated or revoked.

On the other hand, divine sanctification is, progressive, continuous, ongoing, transforming, being perfected.

Divine sanctification is causing mature, change, development, and a teachableness.

Interestingly, both divine justification and sanctification begin at the time of our salvation.

Yet, only divine sanctification continues until our salvation is complete, and has fully ran its course concerning us.

Quote Romans 8:30. “Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called. And whom He called, them He also justified.  And whom He justified, them He also glorified.”

See Job 25:4.                                                                                                                            How then can man be justified with God?  Or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?

Our problem.

See Romans 3:                                                                                                               Vs. 23.  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

 

The only solution.

See I Corinthians 6:                                                                                                           Vs. 9.  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,           Vs. 10.  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.                                                                                               Vs. 11.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are Justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God, also known as God the Holy Spirit.

Our blessed Benefactor.

See Romans 3: 24.                                                                                                                Being justified freely by His Grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

See Romans 3:26.                                                                                                          To declare I say at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of them which believeth in Jesus.

See II Corinthians 5:21.                                                                                                   For He hath made Him, to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

Our need to humble ourselves and receive.

See Romans 3:20.                                                                                                             Therefore, by the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the Law is the knowledge of sin.

See Romans 3:28.  Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the Law.

Here are a couple of benefits when we are justified by God.

See Romans 5:1.                                                                                                            Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

See Romans 5:9.                                                                                                                Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.