Sermons

The Value of Discipline

 

1 Timothy 4:8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 

  • We exercise physical discipline to become physically healthy and in shape. We exercise  spiritual disciplines in order to become spiritually healthy and spiritually fit.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 (Impress them) on your children. (Talk about them) when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8  (Tie them) as symbols on your hands and (bind them) on your foreheads. 9 (Write them) on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. 

  • Getting the word in (front) of us 

Psalm 119:30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.

  • Getting the word (in) us

Jeremiah 15:16 – When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty.

Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

  • Think about such things!

Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

1 Timothy 6:6 – But godliness with contentment is great gain.

  • Definition of meditate 1 : to engage in contemplation or reflection He meditated long and hard before announcing his decision. 2 : to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness.

Psalm 19:14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 1:1-2 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.

Joshua 1:8 – Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Psalm 119:30 – I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.

Psalm 16:8 ESV – I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Losing to Win; Dying to Live

Philippians 3:7–14

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

  1. Pursuit of Christ 
  2. Perseverance 
  3. Pressing On
  4. Power of the resurrection 
  5. Prize

Hebrews 12:1-Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

  • Throw off everything that hinders
  • sin that entangles 
  • run with perseverance 

Galatians 5:7-8 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.

When They Had Seen Him

 

Luke 2:15-21 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. 21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

  1. The shepherds journeyed to see what God has promised. This was a shared faith journey.
  2. The shepherds did not delay. They hurried off to see what had happened. The enemy is not trying to convince you that there is no heaven or hell, but rather…no hurry.
  3. When the shepherds saw Jesus … they told others what they had seen and experienced.
  4. Those who they told were amazed at what they shepherds had to say.
  5. The Shepherds returned home back to life….but they were different people.

2 Timothy 1:8 – So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.

 

  • I Challenge you to take the faith journey.
  • The faith journey is a journey of faith…it is not by physical sight.
  • We can see God’s movement or experience.
  • When we see God’s movement…do we like the shepherds share with others what we have seen and heard?
 

Come and See

Luke 2:11-14 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,14 Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

  • We are Invited to (come)
  • We are Invited to (see)
  • We are Invited to (partake /experience)
  • We have a Jesus who (initiated) relationship.
  • We have a Jesus who (invited) us in to relationship. 
  • Everything that we are searching for is wrapped up in the person of Jesus.

1. Seeing the baby would mean, prophesy was (fulfilled)

(Isa. 9) (Isa. 7:) (Isa. 52:13–53:12)(Isa. 65:17)

Romans 1:19-20 – 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

2. Seeing the baby would mean the baby was found by those searching for him.

Jeremiah 29:13 – You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

3. Seeing the baby would mean they had found the (prince of peace) 

Isaiah 26:3 – You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

The Hopes and Fears of Christmas

God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear

2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline

Luke 2:8-10 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 

  1. There is the fear of the (unfamiliar). 

Ex. Joseph, the husband of Mary, had that kind of fear. An angel appeared to him in a dream with an important message. Matthew described the encounter:

“Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.’” Matthew 1:19-20

  • Afraid of what we do not understand – what does this mean?

Isaiah 55:8-9  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The angel’s word to Joseph was, “Don’t be afraid.” 

2. There was the fear that accompanied an (unexpected) encounter with God:

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.” Luke 2:8-9

To Joseph, to the shepherds and to each one of us the Christmas message is the same. Don’t be afraid! Christmas is God’s intervention in our lives to bring joy, not fear. The Baby of Bethlehem is still fulfilling the angels’ announcement:

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” 

Our response

1. (Watch) and (Pray)

Matthew 26:38-41 Then he said to them, “My soul is (overwhelmed with sorrow) to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

2. Be (Still) and (Know)

Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” + 

Exodus 14:14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

O Little Town of Bethlehem -“The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”

Making Room for Christmas

Luke 2:1-7

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

  1. Christmas is More than a (Season)
  2. Christmas is More than (Stuff)
  3. Christmas is a (Savior)

The Lord has Come

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Luke 2:4-12 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Why He came?

Because He wants to be close to us!

As an infant, Jesus showed up during troubling times. Jesus came to earth during a very dark, difficult time.

Matthew 2:16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.

John 1:11-12 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

He came unto his own, but his own did not receive him.

Who did he come for?

  • He came to (save) us.
  • He came for US!

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

  • He came to (sympathize) or identify with us.
  • He came to (Show) us the way to the Father

John 14:5-14

  • He came to (suffer) for us.

Isaiah 53:1–12

1 Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 55:1-13 / Invitation to Come
1 Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
    listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
    my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
    a ruler and commander of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
    and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
    and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
    for an everlasting sign,
    that will endure forever.”

James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Where are the Other Nine

Psalm 100:Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

-Giving Thanks in All Circumstances 

Quote by Thomas Merton- “To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. 

Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” 

James 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Luke 17:11-19 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

  • see the (distance) that was created by this disease (They stood at at a distance)
  • see the (desperation) that was created by this disease
  • see the (deliverance)

(Go show yourself to the priest)

  • see the (declaration) of thanksgiving

We have a God who Rescues and Reinstates us!

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Self < Servant

Philippians 2:5-8

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

John 3:30 – He must become greater; I must become less.”

How does Christ become greater in our lives?

More of you and less of me

We spend too much time and energy ‘positioning’ ourselves. We are striving to become great, trying to make a name for ourselves like we see in Genesis 11.

Luke 9:46-48 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”

  • The disciples had a need for Significance 
  • The disciples had a need for Recognition 
  • The disciples had a need for Approval 

Matthew 23:11-12 The greatest among you will be your servant.12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

The disciples fought over greatness

How do we define greatness? What does greatness look like according to what we have been taught?

  1. Success
  2. Status
  3. Social Media  (Followers and Likes)

Recipe for greatness according to Jesus 

Humility

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,

-Obedience 

John 14:15 – If you love me, keep my commands.

-Sacrifice

Matthew 19:27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

Wrong question…What is in it for me?

Mark 8:36 – What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

Gaining the world and losing your soul

Challenge – Making Christ Greater in Our Lives

Do You Want To Get Well

John 5:1-15

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

  • The man’s condition 

Matthew 9:12 – On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.

Ecclesiastes 4:(8-12)

There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless— a miserable business! Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

John 5:7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

  • The man’s community – no one would help him or let him into the pool. 

Philippians 2:3-4 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

John 5:8-13 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” 11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ” 12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

  • The man’s continued sin

John 5:14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 

  • The man’s cure  

John 5:15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

The Journey of Becoming

Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Philippians 1:6 – being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 

– Crowd following 

Exodus 23:2 – Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd,

Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. 

– Christ following 

Following to become – As we follow Christ, we become more like him

Our aim is not to look like the world, but rather to be imitators of God; see Ephesians 5:1-2 as an example.

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Phil 3:13 – Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.

Matthew 4:18-22 18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

1. The (call) to follow

2. The (challenge) to follow … it is never easy to leave the safe, the secure, the predictable and the comforts of life. 

1 John 2:6 – Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

3. The (commitment) to follow

What did their commitment look like?

Matthew 19:27-29 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.

Our success in kingdom work is our connection to following Jesus. 

The more we are with him…the more we become like him.

– The mind or mindset of Christ

2 Corinthians 10:5 – We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

– The attitude of Christ 

Philippians 2:5 – In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

– The humility of Christ 

– The love of Christ

After he made them disciples …Jesus challenged them to (Make Disciples) Matthew 28

Jesus called them to follow and then he sent them out to change the world.

Hebrews 12-1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

He Believed

There are essentials we agree on; they are summarized below in The Nicene Creed.

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father; through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became truly human.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

John 4:43-54

43 After the two days he left for Galilee. 44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there. 46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

  1. He believed Jesus could heal his son 

Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Luke 1:37 For nothing is impossible with God.”

48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” 49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed.

 2. He believed what Jesus said 

51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living.52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”

3. He believed that Jesus was responsible for the healing of his son.  

53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.”  So he and his whole household believed.

4. He and his whole household believed 

54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.

Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Still Standing

Isaiah 43:1

But now, this is what the Lord says—

    he who created you, Jacob,

    he who formed you, Israel:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

John 8:1-11 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

George Herbert wrote in 1651: ‘ Whose house is of glass, must not throw stones at another.’

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Matthew 5:27-28

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Considering the Pharisees and Scribes mentioned in the passage:

1. See their Hate and Hostility 

Ephesians 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,

1 Peter 2:10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

2. See their (Humiliation and Shaming)

3. See their (Hypocrisy) – We are no better!

Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Romans 2:1 – You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

Romans 2:21 – 24 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

Matthew 23:13 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

Revelation 2:4 – Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.

Romans 15:1-7 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. 5. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

4. See their (Honesty)
 
They dropped their stones and walked away one at a time.

Choosing What is Better: Worry or Worship?

‘Mary has chosen what is better’

Luke 10:38-42 38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

A True Story about Two Sisters

  1. One opened the door of her home / One opened the door of her heart
  2. One sat at his feet (and delighted in her guest)while the other stood on her feet distracted by preparations that had to be made.

Tyranny of the Urgent – Charles Hummel Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.

But the root of all sin is self-sufficiency—independence from the rule of God. When we fail to (wait prayerfully) for God’s guidance and strength, we are saying with our actions, if not with our words, that we do not need him. How much of our service is actually a “going it alone”?

      3. One prepared food for her guest / One prepared her heart for her guest 

      4. One was busy One was still (Be Still and Know)

Psalm 46:10

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

Do we equate being still to being non – productive?

     5. One was distracted / One was dialed in / attentive to what mattered most.

Matthew 14:25-31

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

    6. One Worried / One worshipped

See – Matthew 6 (The things we choose to worry about)

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Lost Lives Matter: How We Know

Mark 2:17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

1.  He came to (Rescue) us

Colossians 1:13-14 – 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

2 Corinthians 1:10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us

John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

2 Samuel 22:17- 20

17 “He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. 18 He rescued me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. 19 They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support. 20 He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.

Psalm 40:2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  

2. He came to (Relate) with us

John 1:14 – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

We have a God who wants to be with us!

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet he did not sin.  

3. He came to (Reconcile) us 

2 Corinthian 5:18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

Colossians 1:18-20 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

 4. He came to Restore / Redeem us 

Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

  • David knew that restoration was only possible through restored fellowship.

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Lost Lives Matter: You Must Be

John 3:1-21

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. 10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

  1. Nicodemus was (Inquisitive)          
  2. Nicodemus was (Israel’s teacher)

-These are things that Nicodemus should have  had down as a teacher.

1 Timothy 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

       3. Nicodemus was (Instructed) and told what was necessary for salvation.

You must be…born again 

Romans 10:9-10 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

John 14:5-14

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Lost Lives Matter: The Reason Christ Came

The key passages for this message are Luke 19:1-10; James 4:8; Acts 24:16; 1 John 1:9; Psalm 66:18; Acts 3:19; 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

  1. Zacchaeus was ______________ He stepped out on a limb. He wanted to see Jesus.
  2. Zacchaeus was ___________down.
  3. Zacchaeus was __________and __________his sin.
  4. Zacchaeus was _______________.

This Samaritan Woman

John 4:2-26

2 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

  1. This Samaritan woman was lost 
    1. Jesus went out of his way to meet with this woman.
    2. Samaritans and Jews have no relationship 
  2. This Samaritan woman was looking for love in all the wrong places. 
  3. This Samaritan woman was loved unconditionally by Jesus.
  4. This Samaritan woman was loud about what Jesus accomplished in her life.

John 4:39-42

39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers. 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

In the Beginning

In this message Pastor Brian preached on the Prologue of John’s Gospel, John 1:1-18.

The opening of the Prologue parallels both Genesis 1 and the beginning of 1 John 1. This is not an accident.

The themes and ideas introduced here help to lay a foundation for the rest of this Gospel. In addition to Jesus’ title of The Word, things like light, life, and darkness are all mentioned here.

Some time was spent focusing on John 1:14 with two specific ideas.

  1. When we see dwelt in our more modern translations, think of the tabernacle of the Old Testament, how God was with Israel as they were in the desert; it was a meeting place.
  2. When we see begotten, think of this word as describing an only or unique Son. All who are Christian are grafted or adopted into the family of God, but Jesus’ relationship with the Father is most unique. He is the only God-Man, the only mediator.

Making Jesus Known

Series Theme verse – Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

Let us read John 1:35-42

35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).

John pointed out Jesus!

John influenced his disciples to follow Jesus.

John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

  1. Andrew (Found) his brother
-Lost Lives Matter to God
Luke 15:4-10

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shouldersand goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

The Parable of the Lost Coin

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

    2. Andrew (Told) his brother about Jesus
2 Timothy 1:8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.
    3. Andrew (Brought) his brother to Jesus

Mark 2:1-12: A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

Galatians 6:2 – Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Lost Boys

The key passage for this message is Luke 15:11-32, the Parable of the Lost Son.

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.  15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.  16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’  20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.  24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. 25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.  26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.  27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ 28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.  29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.  30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.  32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

For the younger son, share of the estate was more important than relationship.

He spent it all and his life was in ruins because of choices he made.

Romans 6:21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!

  1. His wallet was empty
  2. His stomach was empty
  3. His heart was empty

Nothing satisfies like Jesus

Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

He came to his senses and returned home 

The older brother stayed; he kept all the rules …for him, keeping the rules was more important than relationship. His heart was never in..I hear no delight in his voice, the tone is one of duty and obligation.

A Sacrifice of Praise

Take a look at 1 Chronicles 16:23-31

Psalm 34:1 NIV I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.

New Living Translation I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.

Psalm 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.

Instead of putting people down…we praise them up!

James 3:9-10 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Why do I Praise?

Psalm 145:1-21

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.

Luke 19:40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

1 Peter 1:3-7 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise,

Where do I Praise?

The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.

How do I Praise? Romans 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

  1. Praise Him by lifting your hands. Life up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord. – …
  2. Praise Him with singing. …
  3. Praise Him with your words. …
  4. Praise Him with dancing and instruments.
  5. As mentioned a few minutes ago, Praise Him in by accepting others.

When do I Praise?

Job 1:20-21 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Hebrews 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us (continually) offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

  1. Sing Praise
  2. Say Praise 
  3. Show Praise 

Life is More

How many of you this morning, would like and or expect more out of life?

Is Christ Enough?

Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Philippians 3:7-8 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ

Philippians 4:11-13 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Luke 12:13-34 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed;

  • Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
  • What did Jesus mean in John 10:10 when he said the below?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full?

  • We have equated abundance to having a lot of stuff.
  1. There is more to life than possessions.

Mark 8:36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

Luke 12 cont’d: And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years.

2. There is more to life than pleasures.

Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

Life would be easier if….

Luke 12 cont’d: “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

  1. There is more to life than physical needs and wants.

When your life is demanded

Hebrews 9:27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,

Psalm 90:12 – Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

James 4:13-15 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

Luke 12 cont’d: “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Do not worry about your life – Life is more

Luke 12 cont’d: Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?

Mark 4:19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.

Luke 12 cont’d: Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

God’s Plan / Purpose

Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

God’s Peace

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

God’s Presence

Matthew 28:20b And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Hebrews 13:5 – Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Philippians 3:10 I want to know Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,