SERMON SEEDS FOR WEEK OF 12/21/20
December 23, 2020, 10:37 AM

WELCOME TO

SERMON SEEDS

S51 – WEEK OF DECEMBER 21, 2021

 

YOU MAY FIND CHRISTMAS OUTLINES IN OUR PREVIOUS RECENT

SERMON SEEDS.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

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8 MINUTE DEVOTIONAL FOR CHRISTMAS CAROL SING

  CHRISTMAS QUOTES

 

ISAIAH SPEAKS OF THE PERSON OF CHRIST – Isaiah 9:6

MICAH SPEAKS OF THE PLACE OF CHRIST – Micah 5:2

JOHN SPEAKS OF THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST – John 1:14

PAUL SPEAKS OF THE PRESENT OF CHRIST – 2 Corinthians 9:15

THE ANGELS SPEAK OF THE PROCLAMATION OF CHRIST – Luke 2:10-14

 

TO HEAR HOW PASTOR JACK PREACHED THIS MESSAGE, CLICK HERE:

https://www.fbcnhremembers.com/8_minute_devotional_christmas_quotes

 

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MARK 13:32-37 – THE WORD FOR 2021

 

2020 is over.  2021 is here. 

After 2020, I feel that you and I need a word for 2021.

We need a word to live by as Christians that will help us and keep us focused no matter what happens in this current year.

 

The word that God has led me to for 2005 is a word that Jesus Himself used.  It is a word, a command that Jesus used. It is the word, “watch”!

 

Mark 13:32-37 - But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. [33] Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. [34] For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. [35] Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:  [36] Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. [37] And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

 

Jesus makes it very clear.  He is speaking to all, especially all of His followers or disciples.  And He says “watch”!   

 

When Jesus gives these words He is completing what is known as “The Olivet Discourse”.  Jesus was answering the disciples’ questions about future events, and in light of these future events he is telling them to “watch”. 

 

The event that Christians, including you and I, should watch for is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the resurrection of all believers from the dead.  1 Corinthians 15:51-58, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

 

In Mark 13:32 Jesus tells us that no man knows the day or the hour when the events described in the Olivet Discourse will be fulfilled.  This means that no man knows the day or the hour when Jesus is returning for us.  It could be anytime.

 

The word Jesus gives us in light of His coming is “WATCH!” 

 

Using this passage and a couple of others, I want to suggest to you that there are at least three ways that we should be watching for the coming of the Lord Jesus.

 

 

WATCH PERSISTENTLY

 

Vs. 34 – Jesus gives an illustration.

A man is taking a long journey.

He gives to various members of the household different responsibilities. He tells them what to do while he is gone.

 

He tells the porter to watch.   

The porter was the door keeper.  While the other members of the household were also to watch for the return of their master by going about their business, it was the job of the porter to be awake and looking for the return of the Master, so He could alert the others.

 

The church today is like the household in the story.

Our Master is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Before He left to go on His long journey to Heaven he gave instructions to the church. Matthew 28:18-20.

 

The Epistles give us even further instruction.  God has intended that each Christian, after coming to Christ, live a life patterned in good works. Ephesians 2:10

   

God also has given each of us abilities or spiritual gifts that are to be used to further His kingdom.   

1 Peter 4:10-11

 

So Jesus has gone away.  He has given us jobs to do.

And as we do the jobs He’s given us to do, we are to do them as if Jesus were coming back soon, even today!

 

Vs. 35 – Jesus says, “You watch, for you don’t know when I’m coming.” 

 

The watch Jesus talks about is to be a persistent one.

We don’t know when He is coming, but we should be about His business, doing what Jesus has told us to do.

 

Vs. 36 – It will be a tragedy if Jesus catches us “napping” when he comes.

This napping or sleeping needn’t be thought of as literal.

 

  • If we are caught up in our own pleasures when Jesus comes we will be napping.
  • If we are worrying about our own well being when Jesus comes we will be napping.
  • If we are delaying serving the Lord Jesus when He comes, thinking we have plenty of time, we will be napping.
  • If we are concentrating on our business, our families, our comforts when Jesus comes, we will be napping.

 

When Jesus comes, I shouldn’t really be surprised.  I should be expecting Him! 

I should be expecting Him, because He told me to watch for His coming!

 

Mark 13:37 - And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

 

So, what you do today should be based on the fact that you believe that Jesus could come today. And because Jesus could come today, you should be about His business. 

 

Actually, that’s why God delays the coming of Jesus, so that we can accomplish more of His work.

2 Peter 3:8-9

 

WATCH PERCEPTIVELY

 

Turn please to Titus 2:11-13.

When someone is perceptive they know what’s going on.

They sense things.  They understand things.

As we watch for the coming of the Lord Jesus in 2005, we are to watch perceptively.

 

Titus 2:11 - For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

The grace of God has appeared unto all men, to all types of people.

The grace of God is God’s unmerited favor.

You don’t deserve forgiveness for your sins or a place in Heaven.

You don’t deserve to be a child of God.

But if you have turned to Jesus Christ, believing that He died for your sins, and trusting Him for forgiveness and eternal life, the grace of God has touched you.

 

Ephesians 2:8-9

If you have put your faith in Christ then the grace of God is at work in your life.

 

Among other things, the grace of God teaches us to be perceptive.

 

Titus 2:12 - Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

 

God’s grace not only saves us, but it teaches us.

First of all, it teaches us to deny ungodliness.

What is ungodliness?

Ungodliness is anything that God wouldn’t do Himself.

It is anything that is not fitting or true of God.

Ungodliness is also anything that we do without God.

If what I am doing is not dependent upon God or approved by God, it is ungodly!

 

How do I go about denying ungodliness?

I deny ungodliness by staying close to Jesus!

 

John 15:4-5 - Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. [5] I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

 

I am not only to deny ungodliness, but I am to deny worldly lusts or desires.  These are basically anything that I do to excess. 

 

How do I deny worldly lusts?

I deny worldly lusts by allowing God’s Holy Spirit to control me.

 

Galatians 5:16 - This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

 

The grace of God not only teaches us to deny ungodliness and world lusts.  It also teaches us to live soberly.

 

To be sober is to be serious.

If we live soberly we will live seriously.  That doesn’t mean that we can’t have a sense of humor.

It means that we will take our commitment to God seriously.

 

The serious Christian lives seriously practicing the things of God on a continual basis.

Sunday Morning attendance is only one part of the bigger commitment to Christ that includes a daily walk with Him!  

 

Not only are we to live soberly, but righteously and Godly.

Our activities should be right in the eyes of God.

Our activities should be the things that God would do if he were in our situation!

 

So why does the grace of God teach us the way it does?

Titus 2:12-13 - Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; [13] Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

 

If we truly live lives that deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and that are serious, righteous and godly, we will also be perceptive enough to be looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ!

 

The “blessed hope” and “the glorious appearing” are one and the same!

The one who is looking for the wonderful coming of the Lord Jesus will be perceptive to live as if He is coming back at any moment.

 

If you expect company, you clean up the house.

If you expect Jesus, you clean up your life and keep it clean on a daily basis.  You look forward to His coming, so you live as if he is coming.

 

WATCH PRAYERFULLY

Let’s go back to Mark 13 for a moment.

 

Mark 13:32-33 - But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. [33] Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

 

Watching and praying go together!

 Jesus commanded it here.  It is also commanded in the Epistles.  

Colossians 4:2 - Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

 

1 Peter 4:7 - But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

 

Why do watching and praying go together?

  • Praying helps us have victory over temptation.
  • Praying keeps us Spiritually sharp.
  • Praying accomplishes God’s purposes before Jesus returns.  John 14:13-14  says, And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. [14] If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
  • God doesn’t want anyone to perish, so we are instructed to pray.  1 Timothy 2:1-4 says, I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; [2] For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. [3] For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

 

The Word for 2005 is “watch”!

 

WATCH PERSISTENTLY

WATCH PERCEPTIVELY

WATCH PRAYERFULLY

 

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IN CONCLUSION: PRAY!

JAMES 5:13-18 – LET’S GET PRACTICAL (James) #14 of 14

  • What joys have you found in prayer?
  • What frustrations have you found with prayer?
  • James is coming close to ending his Epistle and decides to leave us with a stirring encouragement to pray. 
  • Prayer indeed is not a new subject to the Scriptures.  There are many calls to prayer in the Scriptures. Jeremiah 33:3, Matthew 7:7-8, Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Peter 4:7, 1 John 5:14-15           
  • D. Edmond Hiebert says, “Through prayer the believer habitually lays hold on God’s power for victory amid all these diverse experiences. Prayer constitutes the very heart of a vital Christian faith.”                                             D. Edmond Hiebert, The Epistle of James, Tests of a Living Faith, (Chicago, Moody Press, 1979), p. 316

THE PRAYER OF THE DOWNTRODDEN – Vs. 13a

  • “Is anyone among you suffering?” – Not necessarily involving lots of pain, but hardship, misfortune, or calamity. James 1:2, 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
  • The ones suffering are to pray! Why?  God is the only true source of help! Psalm 42:5, Psalm 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7
  • It’s time to take the words to “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” seriously!
  • Why do we take more time figuring things out for ourselves than praying?

THE PRAYER OF THE DELIGHTED – Vs. 13b

  • The prayer of the delighted is a song of praise.
  • Why do we fail to praise God as much as we should?
  • How does praise give balance to prayer? 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Hebrews 13:15
  • What are your favorite praise verses?

THE PRAYER OF THE DESIGNATED – Vss. 14-15

  • The elders are the designated leaders of the church.  They are “elder” in their maturity and often in their age. Another term used to describe them is “bishop”. This word means overseer.
  • When there is a severe problem, the elders of the church are to be called upon.
  • What is the traditional interpretation of these verses? I saw one supernatural healing while doing this.
  • Another interpretation: David Roper – “The word sick in verse 13 actually means, ‘helpless’ or ‘impotent,’ and though it’s often used in the Gospels and Acts to refer to physical weakness, in the Epistles it almost always refers to spiritual limitation and disability. “The word sick appears again in verse 15: ‘The prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick’ (NASB). Here a different Greek word occurs that suggests weariness and fatigue. It’s found in only one other place in the New Testament: ‘Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart’ (Hebrews 12:3-4).” David Roper, Growing Slowly Wise Building a Faith That Works, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Discovery House Publishers, 2000), pp. 176-177
  • It seems to me that James could be saying, “When things are going the worst for you spiritually, call for the men who will be able to help you.  Ask them to pray for you and anoint you with oil.”   
  • This would certainly fit the duties of the elder as described by the Apostle Peter. 1 Peter 5:2-3
  •  Paul gave similar instructions to the elders who were in Ephesus. Acts 20:28
  • What would be the point of anointing with oil?  I believe that the oil is symbolic of the Spirit of God.  It is the work of the Holy Spirit of the Lord Jesus that will actually restore the spiritual condition of the one who is in the “slough of despond” spiritually.   
  • Vs. 15 – Elders are to be prayer warriors.  They should know how to intercede before God.  It is their “prayer of faith” that will restore the physically sick or spiritually weary.
  • I assume that the one who is being prayed for has confessed any known sin as part of this process. 1 John 1:9
  • Why are people hesitant to seek Spiritual help when they struggle?

THE PRAYER OF THE DISCIPLES– Vss. 16-18

  • Vs. 16 – James now expands his application to the whole congregation.
  • James is encouraging transparency.  Confession should be done on the level of offense.  A public offense requires a public confession.  A personal offense to other believers requires a personal apology.  An offense against God requires a confession to God.
  • If we struggle in a certain area of our lives, it would be proper to share this for prayer with people who are spiritually mature and can be trusted.  An accountability partner is sometimes helpful.
  • We should pray for the physical and spiritual healing of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • Notice that it’s the “effective prayer of a righteous person” that has great power. Romans 5:1, Psalm 66:18, Isaiah 59:1-2, Isaiah 55:6-9, 1 Peter 1:15-16
  • Vs. 17 – How was Elijah the Prophet “a superstar”, so to speak?
  • James is using Elijah as an example of diligent prayer, but reminds us that he was human, just like us. 1 Kings 19:1-8
  • James is telling us that we can have success like Elijah, because what seemingly made him different was his passionate praying. 1 Kings 18:41-46, 1 Kings 17:17-24
  • Elijah was a man of passionate prayer.
  • Elijah was a man of persistent prayer.
  • Elijah was a man of proper prayer (according to the will of God).
  • Resolved: I will stop being a prayer pygmy!

 

 

TRANSFORMED BY CRISES

GENESIS 28:10-22, 32:22-32

  • How has a crisis changed your life, and how was it beneficial?
  • Consider the reminders found in Hebrews 12:5-11 and Psalm 94:12-19.

The life of Jacob was transformed by two major crises, both involving his brother Esau. Jacob had deceived his Father and stole what Esau thought was his, the blessing. Esau was ready to kill him. After over 20 years away from Esau, Jacob, a rich man, returned. He sent word to Esau that he was returning, and he was told that Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men. Again Isaac feared for his life. These two crises give us insights about the crises that we face.

CONTEXT

  • A stressful pregnancy – Genesis 25:20-23
  • Two distinct people and nations. – Esau named “hairy”. Jacob named cheat, supplanter, or “one who grabs the heal”. Genesis 25:24-27
  • Family Division – Genesis 25:28
  • Birthright sought and taken by Jacob. Jacob valued it. Esau despised it. Genesis 25:29-34

(This is when Esau started to be called “Red” or Edom.)

  • The Patriarchal blessing that should have gone on Jacob was going to be bestowed upon Esau by his Father, Isaac. The big deception and fall out takes place in Genesis 27.
  • Esau became very bitter and was ready to kill Jacob as soon as their father died.

Genesis 27:36-41

  • Jacob was forced to flee. Genesis 27:42-28:5

THE COMFORTS

  1. Presence of God – Isaiah 28:10-12, 15, John 15:4-7

 

  1. Promises of God – Isaiah 28:13-14, Mark 13:31

 

  1. Protection of God – Isaiah 28:15, John 10:27-30

 

INTERLUDE # 1 – Jacob’s Vow – Genesis 28:16-22

  • There is much controversy concerning this vow. After receiving grace was Jacob trying to bargain with God? Genesis 28:20-21
  • I personally do not think so. I think Jacob is saying, “Since God has promised these things, this will be my response.”

INTERLUDE # 2 – Deceived, Tested, Prospered and Matured – Genesis 29-31

INTERLUDE #3 – Esau’s Second Threat – Genesis 32:1-8

INTERLUDE #4 - Petition to GodGenesis 32:9-12

INTERLUDE #5 – Guided to ActGenesis 32:13-23

MORE COMFORTS

  1. Persistence with God – Genesis 32:24-26, Hosea 12:4, Matthew 7:7-11, Luke 11:13

 

  1. Position with God – Genesis 32:28 – He strove with God and prevailed.                                      Jacob strived with God because He learned to cling to God. Psalm 27:4-9

 

  1. Preservation by God – Genesis 32:29, Romans 8:35-39

CONCLUSION

  • Jacob’s response and permanent disability – Genesis 32:30-31
  • Reconciliation with Esau – Genesis 33:1-16
  • What’s your conclusion?

 

 

TIMES FOR THE NEW YEAR

(The word “times” in Psalms and Proverbs)

 

TIMES OF TROUBLE

Psalms 9:9 - The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
 

TIMES IN GOD’S HAND
Psalms 31:15 - My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

 

TIMES OF PRAISE
Psalms 34:1 - I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

 

TIMES OF TRUST
Psalms 62:8 - Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

 

TIMES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Psalms 106:3 - Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.

 

TIMES OF DELIVERANCE
Psalms 106:43 - Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.

TIMES OF SATISFACTION

Proverbs 5:19 - Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.
 

TIMES OF LOVE
Proverbs 17:17 - A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

 

TIMES OF RESILIENCE
Proverbs 24:16 - For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

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PSALM 37:1-8 – HOW TO LIVE IN THE NEW YEAR

David gives us some great ways to have a successful new year. Remember, success is not measured by how much we gain, but by how much we please God. When we please God, He blesses us!

 

FRET NOT, ENVY NOT - Vss. 1-2

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

We are not to be jealous or envious of evil people. They may seem to be successful, but their success is temporary.

 

TRUST AND DO - Vs. 3

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

If our faith is in the Lord, we can do good, that is what is right!

 

DELIGHT AND RECEIVE Vs. 4

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

When we delight in the Lord, the desires of our heart will be pleasing to Him.

 

COMMIT AND TRUST Vss. 5-6

Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

When we give our future and our problems to the Lord and trust Him, He will bring to pass His will for our lives.

 

REST AND WAIT Vs. 7

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

 

Rest is not inactivity! Rest is a quiet heart, no matter what difficulties we face. Part of resting is waiting patiently, and not letting the wicked activities of others make us fret or worry.

 

CEASE AND FORSAKE Vs. 8

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

Ecclesiastes 7:9, Ephesians 4:26-27, Colossians 3:8, 13

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HEBREWS 2:1-4 - THE NEW YEAR STARTS NOW

 

It is a New Year! That means 365 days to do that which pleases God. That means we should:

 

TAKE HEED

Hebrews 2:1 - Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

TAKE NOTICE

Hebrews 2:2 - For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;

TAKE THOUGHT

Hebrews 2:3-4 - How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

 

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