Here is a sneak peak for tomorrow’s sermon at Jaffrey Bible Church.

Title and Passage

Awesome Wonder
Luke 5:17-26

Key Quote

“To be filled with the Spirit means simply that the Christian voluntarily surrenders life and will to the Spirit. Through faith, the believer’s personality is permeated, mastered, and controlled by the Spirit. The meaning of “filled” is not to “pour into a passive container” but to “take possession of the mind.” That’s the meaning found in Luke 5:26: “They were filled with awe.” When we invite the Spirit to fill us, the Spirit’s power grips our lives with this kind of strength and passion. To be filled by the Spirit is to be controlled by the Spirit.   Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders

Purpose Statement

The awestruck reaction to the miraculous healing of the paralytic’s broken body in Luke 5 ought to be the same type of reaction toward God’s healing of our broken souls.
Please pray the Lord will bless this sermon and use it to accomplish his will by changing us to be more like himself.

A Model of Christian Charity by John Winthrop

Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of others’ necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other; make others’ conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us, as His own people, and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness and truth, than formerly we have been acquainted with. We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when He shall make us a praise and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations, “may the Lord make it like that of New England. For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us.

 

Think about your church. Is this the model your church follows?

I want my church to be one that does justly, loves mercy, and walks humbly with God. A church that seeks to do that is one worthy of all the eyes of people to see for when they see my church they see Christ.

Micah 6:8 (ESV)

He has told you, O man, what is good’

and what does the Lord require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness, 

and to walk humbly with your God? 

Modern day terms for the goal and vision in a church that wants to be a city set on a hill.

1. To do justly (do justice- fulfilling mutual obligations in a manner consistent with God’s moral law)
2. To love mercy (love kindness- doing unto others as you would have them do to you)
3. To walk humbly with our God. (faithfulness- day by day growing in relationship with God through His Word)

 

 

I have been studying through “Spiritual Leadership” by J. Oswald Sanders and I’ve come across some incredible challenging thoughts. I would like to simply share some of those thoughts with you and with myself as I seek to record some of these key ideas for future reminders.

 

Professor G. Warneck described Hudson Taylor, the missionary pioneer to China: “A man full of faith and the Holy Ghost, of entire surrender to God and His call, of great self-denial, heartfelt compassion, rare poser in prayer, marvelous organizing faculty, indefatigable perseverance, and of astounding influence with men, and withal of childlike simplicity himself.”

 

Vision involves foresight as well as insight.

 

Vision involves optimism and hope. The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty. The pessimist tends to hold back people of vision from pushing ahead. Caution has its role to play. We all live in a real world of limitation and inertia. Cautious Christians draw valuable lessons from history and tradition, but are in danger of being chained to the past.

 

 

 

 

I discovered the Podcast app on my phone and for me it was like finding the Fountain of Youth. I work outside landscaping for much of the summer months and as a result I spend many hours doing mindless tasks. Mowing, multching, and raking are a few of my favorite things… NOT!  But I have found a mindless job can go by much quicker when your mind isn’t mindless. Just because you are giving your body a workout doesn’t mean your mind can’t get one either. Podcasts are my cognitive and spiritual workout throughout the day. (Time flies when you are having a spiritual workout… is that how it goes?)

My latest listen has been on a past message from Josh Harris at T4G 2010. He spoke on the topics found in his book Dug Down Deep.  I have read the book and I thoroughly enjoy his premise and purpose for writing it. But to hear the message of the book in his own words through the method of a powerful sermon was something else entirely. I enjoyed this and I hope you will too.

His main thrust is to take seriously your responsibility to teach others how to properly build their lives on good Christ-centered doctrine so when the winds and waves come their house will stand. He also takes a deeper look at the story of the Two Builders. It is much more than just a simple dichotomy between saved=rock and unsaved=sand.

Click link to listen to the podcast:

Dug Down Deep: Helping Others Build Their Lives on Christ-Centered Doctrine

Here is a post I wrote for my former camper’s blog, Devoted Generation. Click the following link to read the entire article.  http://devotedgeneration.com/comparison-and-complacency/

…This story illustrates many of our lives as we fall in and out of motivation. The right motivation can drive us to improve. But far too often the storehouses for motivation often seem to run out when we seem to need it the most. As a result we inevitably roll in and out of seasons of depression and devotion. I believe fluctuation can be subdued as long as we keep our eyes on Jesus.  I have found that increasing the devotion for Jesus in our lives comes about by comparing yourself to him and nothing else. The key to building everlasting motivating sources for our lives is found in something that may surprise you. You see, comparison can be harmful. It can be a deadly poison seeking to numb us into submission and ultimately regress away from God. But comparison can be a life giving anecdote to rejuvenate a stagnant soul. The key is found in the target of your comparison.

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.”

Abraham Lincoln, 1863

My Palm Sunday Sermon at Hope Fellowship Church

I am preaching this morning and unfortunately I will not have time to share this story. This story illustrates the theme of my message “Adorning the Appearing” perfectly. Read this now to get a sneak peek to the purpose of today’s message.

 

Though the gospel I learn not only of the saving works of God on my behalf, but I also learn that one of God’s key purposes in doing these works is to put me to work myself.

The Bible tells me that when Christ redeemed me, He did so in order that I might now be “zealous for good works.”(Titus 2:14) When God “works” in me day by day, He does so in order to produce in me the desire and the power to “work for His good pleasure.”(Philippians 2:12) Indeed, though I am saved by grace and not by works, I am God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that I would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Being naturally lazy, I do not normally thrill at the prospect of work; but the more I embrace the saving work of God on my behalf, the more I find myself embracing the works for which God saved me. And as I am “working hard” at doing these works for the good of others, I experience the truth of Jesus’ words: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:34) I also find myself saying with Christ, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:32-34) Indeed, gospel-motivated works do for the soul what food does for the body. They bring refreshment, enjoyment, blessing, and strengthening to the doer of the deeds, even more so than to the receiver. Hence, the fact that God has prepared such works for me to do becomes a part of what makes the gospel such great news to me.

Preaching the gospel to myself each day not only reminds me of the love of God for me, but it also reminds me of the love of God for the works that He has saved me to perform. When I see the Cross, I see the premium that God places on the works that He has prepared for me. How valuable all of these works must be if Christ would die so that I might now perform them! And how precious are those for whom these works are done if Christ would die that they might be served!

- Milton Vincent A Gospel Primer

link to article: What Worship Style Attracts the Millennials?

“And you will hear Millennials speak less and less about worship style. Their focus is on theologically rich music, authenticity, and quality that reflects adequate preparation in time and prayer. But they will walk away from congregations that are still fighting about style of music, hymnals or screen projections, or choirs or praise teams. Those are not essential issues to Millennials, and they don’t desire to waste their time hearing Christians fight about such matters.”

What Worship Style Attracts the Millennials?

Ephesians1:18,19

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Check out this fascinating quote explaining the meaning of Paul’s unique phrase the “eyes of your heart.” It is more than just a misjudging of the location of one’s ocular devices. It is Paul describing the importance of the Holy Spirit’s regenerating work in our hearts allowing us to see the truth.

Paul uses a strange construction here: the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. Usually we think of the eyes as being in our head, and we connect the head with the brain and the brain with the mind. Hence we say that we understand a particular teaching with the mind. But the apostle refers to the eyes of the heart. What does he mean?
He means that by nature we are closed to the things of God. He does not mean that we cannot discuss them nor have intellectual debates about them. But the heart in New Testament terms refers to the central disposition, inclination, bent, or proclivity of the human soul. In simple terms, the bias. Everybody has a bias and prejudices. The word ‘prejudice’ is usually a pejorative term, but what it literally means is to prejudge certain things, to have a standpoint, a viewpoint.
Our natural prejudgment of reality is against God. To receive the truth of God requires that our ‘anti’ bias be changed. The key work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration is not giving new knowledge to the brain but changing the disposition of the heart. Before the Spirit turns that heart of stone into a heart of flesh, we have no desire for the things of God. We may desire the blessings that only God can give us, but we have no affection for the things of God. At the moment of regeneration, the eyes of the heart are opened somewhat, but this is just the beginning. The whole Christian life involves an unfolding and enlarging of the heart’s openness to the things of God. There are concepts, attitudes, and values in my life at present that do not please God, for there will be stony parts to my heart as long as sin abides within me. Sin clouds my thinking, my will, my desires, my affections. There will always be parts of me that need to be opened more and more to let the fullness of God’s truth dwell in me. — The Purpose of God: Ephesians