Catch up on what you missed from the past two Sunday’s Philippians Series. Next Sunday’s message will continue on through Philippians 1:12-18.

Sermon #1: Phil. 1:1-3

Sermon #2: Phil 1:3-11

I have been studying how to listen well for a Pastoral Counseling course at Liberty Seminary. This quote about congregational listening struck me as encouraging. For us preachers, kinds words and supportive comments during or after the sermon are extremely encouraging.

“Once at at preaching conference, I heard a nationally recognized African-American preacher discussing the “amens” and other vocal responses of his congregation during his sermons. Many of us were not used to such an interactive style.

He said,

“It isn’t just up to preachers [talkers] to get the message across. We need help. Preaching takes a lot of work from the congregation [the listeners] too. After services sometimes my people say, ‘We did good this morning!’ Now that’s real preaching when they feel like we did it together.”

Kollar, C.A., (2011) Solution-Focused Pastoral Counseling An Affective Short-Term Approach for Getting People Back on Track. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.53

Perception versus reality is often a difficult battle for a Christian. For this world is not my home, I’m just passing through. Paul speaks of this in 2 Corinthians 6 where he talks of persecution versus the reality of situation.

We are treated

as impostors, and yet are true;

as unknown, and yet well known;

as dying, and behold, we live;

as punished, and yet not killed;

as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing;

as poor, yet making many rich;

as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

2 Corinthians 6:8b-10

We are treated as impostors in this world, and yet we have the truth. Help them to know the truth, and the truth will set them free. As Paul says later on in the chapter, “widen your hearts” that we who are poor can make others rich.

May we display the gospel more clearly in our marriages as we declare the gospel more compassionately in our culture.

– David Platt

This is my first official message to Hope Fellowship Church.

God is good.

I am thankful for His goodness. God has given me the opportunity to be welcomed as the Teaching Elder/Pastor for Hope Fellowship Church. Praise Him for his goodness and praise Him for my new opportunity to preach and teach the Bible to the body. I am humbled at this responsibility and yet confident in God’s grace as sufficient to empower me to complete the task he has already begun in me.

If you would, please pray for Jamie and me, as we begin this new journey. We covet your prayers.

I am eager to preach this Sunday, Father’s Day, at Hope Fellowship Church as a new Teaching Elder/Pastor. God has blessed greatly over the past few years and I am excited to finally reach the point of preaching to a congregation that we will call our home church and our church family. God truly is good. He has blessed Jamie and me far more than we dreamed at this point in our life.

The theme of God’s goodness will be the focus of Sunday’s message. As we embark on this new chapter, it is important for us as a church family to pause and reflect on God’s goodness. This reflection upon God’s goodness ought to drive us to extol his name. This Sunday, I hope you will come ready praise God’s “wondrous works in the children of man” (v. 8)! Extol Him!

Psalm 107:1-2

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2  Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble

Psalm 107:32

Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

The word EXTOL comes from a primitive root meaning:

“to be high or exalted, rise”

It can also carry the meaning to “become proud” or to “boldly proclaim”

This is what we as redeemed creatures ought to do. This is our natural response to God’s goodness in our lives. We ought to extol His good name.

(Thomas, R. L. (1998). New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek dictionaries : updated edition. Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc.)
psalm 107

Speaking of false religions and their pursuit of deity and more specifically the Ancient Near Eastern version of religion surrounding and excluding the nation of Israel:

“The divine, in its multiple, personalized presentations, was above all considered to be something grandiose, inaccessible, dominating, and to be feared.” He observes that the gods were not the object of enthusiastic pursuit. The people sought the gods for protection and assistance, not for relationship. “One submitted to them, one feared them, one bowed down and trembled before them: one did not ‘love’ or ‘like’ them.”

John H. Walton. Ancient near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible.

The Fear of God vs the fear of gods

I am excited about preaching at HFC again this Sunday (4/26/15). Here are a few of the themes we will cover on Sunday morning’s message.

2 Samuel 9

Quoted from David: A Man of Passion and Destiny by Charles Swindoll

8 Analogies of Grace

1. Once Mephibosheth had enjoyed fellowship with his father, and so had humanity in the Garden of Eden.

2. When disaster struck, fear came, and Mephibosheth suffered a fall that crippled him for the rest of his life. Similarly, when sin came, humanity suffered a fall, which has forever left us spiritually crippled.

3. Out of unconditioonal love for his friend Jonathan, David sought anyone to whom he might extend his grace. God, because of His unconditional love for His Son and acceptance of His Son’s death on the cross, continues to seek anyone to whom He might extend His grace.

4. The crippled man was destitute and undeserving. All he could do was accept the king’s favor. So, also, we sinners are undeserving and without hope. In no way are we worthy of our King’s favor. All we can do is humbly and gratefully accept it.

5. The king took the crippled Mephibosheth from a barren wasteland and seated him at the royal banquet table in the palace. God, our Father, has rescued us from a moral wasteland and seated us in a place of spiritual nourishment and intimacy.

6. David adopted Mephibosheth into his royal family, providing him with every blessing within the palace. We also have been adopted into a family–God’s family. And He gives us full privileges within His household.

7. Mephibosheth’s limp was a constant reminder of David’s grace. So also, our moral feebleness keeps us from ever forgetting that were sin abounds, grace abounds that much more.

8. When Mephibosheth sat at the king’s table, he was treated with the same respect as David’s own sons. When we one day attend the great wedding feast of the Lamb, the same will be true for us. We will sit with prophets and priests, apostles and evangelists, pastors and missionaries. We will dine with everyone from the apostle Peter to Corrie ten Boom. And we will be there with them because that same tablecloth of grace covers all our feet.

2 Corinthians 1:5 (ESV)

For we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

2 Corinthians 1:5 (alternate translation)

For as the sufferings of Christ abound for us, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

But what does that comfort look like? We receive comfort through Christ, but how? I take comfort knowing what Christ has done through the gospel for us.

Here is a sneak peek at my chapel sermon handout for tomorrow. Let me know of any other ones you can come up with.

OUR COMFORT ABOUNDS THROUGH CHRIST (2 Cor. 1:5)

  • What once was afflicted is now comforted.
    • 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
  • What once was lost is now found. 
    • Luke 15:32
  • What once was blind can now see. 
    • Matthew 15:30,31; Psalm 119:18
  • What once was dead can now live. 
    • I Peter 4:6
  • What once was dark is now light. 
    • Ephesians 5:8
  • What once was perverted is now pure. 
    • Philippians 2:14-16
  • What once was dirty is now clean.
    • I John 1:9
  • What once was broken is now fixed. 
    • 2 Corinthians 4:7-18
  • What once was hated is now loved. 
    • Romans 5:8-10
  • What once was bound is now free. 
    • Romans 6:17,18,23
  • What once was defeated is now victorious.
    • I Corinthians 16:54-57  
  • What once was old is now new.
    • Ephesians 4:22,23; Colossians 2:9,10 
  • What once was angry is now glad.
    • Ephesians 2:31
  • What once was accursed is now blessed
    • Ephesians 1:3
  • What once was hostile is now peaceful.
    • Ephesians 2:14; Romans 5:1
  • What once was far is now near.
    • James 4:8
  • What once was  is now                        
    •                                               
  • What once was  is now                        
    •