SERMON SEEDS
February 4, 2020, 10:15 AM

SERMON SEEDS FOR WEEK OF 2/3/20


SERMON SEEDS

S5 – THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 3, 202O

 

Sermon Seeds is a generally weekly collection of Sermon and Bible Study Outlines and Full Lessons from the pen of Pastor Jack Peters. Pastor Jack has been pastoring for 44 years and enjoys sharing what he gleans from God’s Word. He currently serves as Pastor of the First Baptist Church of New Holland, PA.

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EXODUS 17:1-7 – WATER SHORTAGE

 

PROBLEM - Vs. 1

There was no water.

 

PROTEST - Vss. 2-3

The Children of Israel did what they did best. They complained!

 

PRAYER - Vs.4

Moses cried to God for help.

 

PROVISION - Vss. 5-6

God answered prayer and provided water from the rock.

 

THE POINT – Vs. 7

The place was called Massah (testing) and Meribah (quarreling) because they quarreled with and tested the Lord by questioning the Him

 

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2 Chronicles 33:1-17 – THE CONVERSION OF A WICKED KING

 

There are many wicked characters mentioned in the Bible.

One of the wickedest was a king of Judah named Manasseh.

There was a day, however, when God did business with Manasseh, and Manasseh was converted. This reminds me that the wickedest of men can come to Christ today and be saved.

 

A CORRUPT LIFE Vss. 1-10

 

A CONVICTED LIFE Vss. 11-13

 

A CHANGED LIFE Vss. 14-17

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PROVERBS 3:1-4 – HOW TO GROW SPIRITUALLY

REMEMBER GOD'S LAW- Vs. 1a - My son, forget not my law;

 

RESPOND WITH OBEDIENCE - Vs. 1b - but let thine heart keep my commandments:

 

REFLECT ON MERCY (LOVE) AND TRUTH (FAITHFULNESS) - Vs. 3 - Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

 

RESULTS COME FROM GOD - Vss. 2, 4 - For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

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JOHN 3:1-12 – NIGHT TALK

LIFE OF CHRIST #11

Night time is a dark time.

Night time is a quiet time.

It is easier to do something secretive at night.

It is easier to do something illegal at night.

It is easier to do something private and/or personal at night.

 

In the Bible there was a man named Nicodemus, “Nick”, if you will, who came to Jesus at night. Hence, I have borrowed a phrase from the Nickelodeon Television channel to name this message, “Nick at Night”.

 

An important discussion took place between Nicodemus and Jesus under the quite protection of the night. This discussion had great implications for Nicodemus and for us as well.

 

NICODEMUS WAS SEARCHING – Vss. 1-2

 

Vs. 1 – John introduces us to the other principle character in this narrative, Nicodemus. This one verse tells us much about Him.

 

· First of all, he was a Pharisee.  The Pharisees were a group within Israel that stood for a literal interpretation of the Bible.  They did believe that the Bible was literally the Word of God. They did believe in the resurrection of the dead.  They did believe in literally obeying all the laws in the Bible. Unfortunately, this led to them becoming very legalistic, and thinking that they could earn their way to Heaven through good works. 

We can conclude that because Nicodemus was a Pharisee, he was very religious.

 

· It is possible that Nicodemus had some Greek connections in his life.  His name is actually a Greek name and means ‘one who conquers the people’.

 

· Nicodemus was also a ruler in Israel. There was a ruling body called the Sanhedran that was responsible for the most important decisions made about religious life in Israel. It was their council.

· According to Verse 10, Nicodemus might have been the leading religious teacher of His day. He, like Jesus, would have been considered a Rabbi.

 

Vs. 2 – As we already stated, Nicodemus came to Jesus by night. Why did Nicodemus come to Jesus at night? We don’t know why, but there are a few possibilities.

 

· Perhaps, Nicodemus, being a religious leader, did not want others to know that he was seeking counsel from this upstart young Rabbi.

· Perhaps Nicodemus was afraid of the criticism of others.

· The question Nicodemus asked was a personal question. Perhaps He didn’t want others to hear what he was asking.

· Or Nicodemus could have come at night because Jesus was too busy for a private interview during the day.

 

The most important thing was that Nicodemus did come to Jesus for help.

 

Nicodemus pays Jesus a compliment.

Nicodemus sees Jesus as a teacher from God, because Jesus was working miracles.  Nicodemus knew that the Jesus could only do the great miracles that He did if God was with Him.

 

What was Nicodemus searching for?

I believe that Nicodemus was searching for the way to eternal life. 

Jesus’ answer to Him in verse 3 would indicate that this was the case. 

 

Nicodemus’ question was similar to that of the rich young ruler who asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

 

In spite of all Nicodemus’ religion, Nicodemus evidently, like that rich young ruler knew he was lacking something. For all of Nicodemus’ efforts as a Pharisee who tried to keep the Law of God, Nicodemus must have realized that he was falling short of God’s perfect standard of righteousness.

 

Nicodemus was trying to get to Heaven by performing good works, and I think that he sensed that he just wasn’t cutting it.

 

JESUS WAS DEFINITE - Vs. 3

 

Vs. 3 – Before Nicodemus asks the question, Jesus has the answer.  Jesus tells Nicodemus that a man can not expect to see the Kingdom of God, unless he is “born again”.

 

A few years ago the term “born again” was very popular.  But just claiming to be born again does not make one prepared for Heaven or truly a child of God.

 

What does the term “born again” mean?  It means to be “born anew” or “born from above”.

 

The new birth is something radical.

The new birth is something different.

Just as your first birth came from God, He is creator of all things; your second birth must come from God, from above.

 

In your first birth, you were born a sinner.  You shortly thereafter became a sinner by practice as well as a sinner by birth.

 

Ephesians 2:1-3 tells us how bad off we are before we are born again.

 

Now when a person is “born again” a change takes place.

There is a whole new life. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Jesus is definite. We must be born again.   

 

NICODEMUS WAS STUMPED - Vs. 4

 

Vs. 4 – I believe that Nicodemus understood that Jesus was using an illustration.  I don’t think Nicodemus expected to literally go back into his mother’s womb.

 

I think Nicodemus was asking, “You say everything has to be new; that there needs to be a new birth.

How can all things be new?

How can I change who I am?

Can I crawl back inside my Mamma and start again?

“How can I start over?”

 

Nicodemus knew that he needed something different.

He just didn’t know how to get it!

 

JESUS WAS DESCRIPTIVE - Vss. 5-8

 

Vs. 5 – Jesus now describes for Nicodemus how a person must be born-again.  He must be born of water and of the Spirit.

 

There has been much discussion about what it means to be born “of water”.  I have changed my opinion on what it means a time or two. The following explanation makes the most sense to me.

 

At the time of this discussion, both John and Jesus’ disciples were baptizing.  They were using water.  And the water was a symbol of repentance. Matthew 3:1-2, 5-8

 

So, to be born again, there needs to be repentance.

Repentance is a change of mind.

There needs to be a change of mind in order to be saved.

You need to change your mind about liking or tolerating your sinful life.

You need to change your mind about how you are going to get to Heaven. Trying to get to Heaven using any form of self-effort like being good, keeping the Ten Commandments or being a church member or attending church will not get you there. Ephesians 2:9 tells us that salvation, getting to Heaven, is Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    

Repentance involves turning away from anything else and turning to Christ. That’s being born of water.

 

To be born of the Spirit means that the Spirit of God does a radical work in your life.  He gives you regeneration, or a new birth.  God does a number on you!  He gives you new life.  It is a supernatural thing.

 

So, how is one “born of the Spirit”?

 

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus to earth to die for your sins.  2 Corinthians 5:21

 

The person who puts their total trust, belief in Jesus Christ for forgiveness and eternal life has it.  When one truly makes this decision to trust Christ alone, repenting of trying to get to Heaven any other way, He or she is born again! John 1:12-13

 

Born of water – repentance

Born of the Spirit – belief in Jesus Christ for Salvation   

 

Vs. 6 – Jesus gives further explanation.

What is born of flesh is flesh. What is born of Spirit is spirit.

 

You and I were born in the flesh, as sinners.  All we will ever be in the flesh is sinners.

But to accomplish that which is Spiritual, that which is victorious, that which gives new life, we must be born of the Spirit. What is born of the Spirit brings spiritual results.

 

Vs. 7 – Jesus says, “Don’t be surprised that you must be born again.” 

And notice that word “must”.  It is not an option to take or leave.  To see the Kingdom of God, to go to Heaven, you must be born again.   

 

Vs. 8 – Jesus gives one more illustration.

The wind blows wherever it wants.

We can hear the sound of the wind.

We can actually feel the wind. 

We can see what blows around.

But we can’t actually see the wind.

And we don’t know where the wind has been or where it’s going.

We can see and hear the effects of the wind, even though we can’t see the wind.

 

Being born of the Spirit is the same way.  We can not see the Spirit in a person’s life, but we can see the effects of the Spirit in that life.

A person truly born of the Spirit is a person changed.

A person truly born of the Spirit will show it by the effect that the Spirit has on the life.

 

NICODEMUS WAS SURPRISED - Vs. 9

 

Vs. 9 – Nicodemus didn’t get it. It seemed to be beyond him.

And so it is with people who have never been born again.

They can’t understand it, because it is a matter of the Spirit and they are operating in the flesh!

1 Corinthians 2:14

 

JESUS WAS DEMANDING - Vss. 10-12

Vs. 10 – The implication here is that Nicodemus is one of the principle teachers in Israel. He should have been able to grasp the whole concept of salvation by faith through the Old Testament Scriptures.

 

Vs. 11 – Jesus is saying, “I told you the truth and you won’t believe it.”

I wonder if some of you are in that same boat.

We, meaning me and other pastors, have told you the truth, but you haven’t believed it.

 

Vs. 12 – Jesus was explaining things with earthly illustrations and Nicodemus didn’t get it. 

Nicodemus would not be able to handle Spiritual things.

 

Don’t expect to understand the Spiritual things of God until you have been born again, of the Spirit!

So what about you?

Are you lost and confused like Nicodemus, or have you been born again through repentance, belief and by the Spirit of God?

 

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1 Timothy 3:8-13 – THE DEACON

 

If the work of God is going to get done there must be willing workers. Each and every Christian has that responsibility. Titus 3:8, 1 Peter 4:10, Galatians 5:13

 

God has given a special group of servants to the church.

These special servants are known as "deacons".

In the early church these men were "servants" who assisted the elders or overseers (bishops) of the church.  These were men who knew how to serve and how to serve well.

In the 20th century we need men who follow in the footsteps of the original deacons.

 

THE WORK OF THE DEACON - Acts 6:1-7

 

Vs. 1 - The deacons were appointed when the work became too large

 

Vs. 2 - The deacons were appointed when the word of God could have been neglected.

 

Vs. 3 - The deacons were appointed when Godly men were available.

 

Vs. 4 - The deacons were appointed when leaders had their priorities straight.

 

Vss. 5-7 - The deacons were appointed and the church grew.

 

THE WAY OF THE DEACON - Vss. 8-12

 

The deacon is to be:

 

  1. A man of good behavior - Vs. 8, 10b
  2. A man of pure conscience - Vs. 9
  3. A man who has been proved - Vs. 10a
  4. A man who has a Godly wife - Vs. 11
  5. A man who has his household in order - Vs. 12

 

THE WAGES OF THE DEACON - Vs. 13

 

The one who is a good deacon earns a good degree or "rank".

He is promoted in the eyes of God and Man and might go on to bigger and better things for God (Consider Stephen in Acts 6-7).

But even if he does not, his testimony for and his ultimate reward from the Master will be worth it.

 

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1 JOHN 4:8 – YOU ARE LOVED!

 

Right now, as I speak YOU ARE LOVED!

 

You are loved by family.

You are loved by friends.

You are loved by me.

But most of all, YOU ARE LOVED BY GOD!

 

Oh how much happier you would be if you realized that no matter what happens in your life today, God still loves you!

 

No matter what losses you experience, God still loves you.

No matter how badly you fail, God still loves you.

No matter how badly you feel, emotionally, Spiritually, or physically, God still loves you.

 

GOD'S LOVE FOR YOU IS AUTHENTIC - 1 John 4:8

Not all love is true love.

We say "I love Pizza," or "I love steak."  That kind of love is just a personal preference.

 

Sometimes somebody will tell you good news or do something nice to you and you might say, "I love you man!" But that kind of love is not true love. It is a spur of the moment, response of joy.

 

Many a guy has told many a girl that he loves her, wanting her to do things that are only appropriate in marriage.  These guys will appeal to the girls and say, "If you love me, you'll do this."

A great answer for the girl to use to that kind of guy is "If you really love me, you'll wait until we are married."

 

God's love is the real deal. It is authentic.

 

1 John 4:8 - "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."

 

God has various attributes or qualities that are part of His nature.

One of those qualities is love.

Notice from 1 John 4:8 that one can not know real love unless they know God.  It is God who is the source and originator of true love.

 

GOD'S LOVE FOR YOU IS ATONING - 1 John 4:10

 

We said that God's love is an attribute or quality of God.

But it is not the only attribute of God.

God has many attributes.

God is not only love, but He is holy. Leviticus 11:44, Psalm 99:3, Isaiah 40:25

 

Not only is holiness an attribute of God but so is righteousness.

Righteousness is closely related to holiness.  God is separate from sin and that's holiness. God demands justice for sin. That's righteousness. Psalm 11:7,

 

God's holiness and righteousness holds you accountable for your sin. Ezekiel 18:4, Romans 6:23

You deserve to die. You deserve the punishment of hell.

But this is where God's wonderful atoning love comes into play.

 

God in His love sent His Son to earth.  Being perfect, without sin, Jesus could have condemned us all!  He could have condemned us because He was righteous and we are not. He was sinless and we are not! John 3:17

 

So what did Jesus do to save the world?

God in His justice demanded that someone pay for our sins.

God in His love sent the sinless Lord Jesus to die in our place.

That is God's atoning love! Man could not pay for or atone for his own sins. He needed help. And God in His love sent the Lord Jesus. 1 John 4:10

 

GOD'S LOVE FOR YOU IS AVAILABLE

 

Jesus has died for your sins.

Jesus has risen from the dead.

As God, Jesus is present now.

And through His Spirit He says, "Come".

 

"Come, and accept my forgiveness."

"Come, and put your trust in me."

"Come, and accept my love."

 

My friend, Jesus did all that was necessary for you to be forgiven of your sins.  There is only one thing he wants from you, and he will not do this for you.

 

All the Lord Jesus wants is for you to place your faith in Him.

Loving forgiveness for all your sins is available if you but trust Him as your Savior, as your forgiveness from sin. Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16

 

God's love for you is available, but it is you who must decide.

You may have been attending church all your life, but if you have not made a personal decision to trust Christ, you have not accepted God's available love. You have rejected it. If you continue to reject it, the outlook is bleak. John 3:36

 

God's love was available to you for salvation.

God's love is available for you on a daily basis.

He loves you still and wants you to avail yourself of that love.

 

There was a great Old Testament saint by the name of Enoch.

It is said of Enoch that he walked with God.

Enoch talked to God all day. Enoch listened to God all day.

As he talked to God and listened to God he made himself available to the love of God.

 

Christian, God wants you to feel His love.

Christian, God wants you to enjoy His love.

Christian, God wants you to accept His love on a daily basis.

 

How do we accept His love? By abiding, remaining close to Him, just as Enoch did. John 15:4-5,  John 15:7

 

Christian, God's love is available to you.

 

When you hurt, come to Him. Matthew 11:28

When you have sinned, come to Him. 1 John 1:9

When you need peace, come to Him. John 14:27

When you don't know which way to turn, turn to Him. Psalm 32:8

When you need a friend, come to Him. - He's the friend that sticks closer than a brother.

When you are disappointed come to Him. 1 Peter 5:7

 

GOD'S LOVE FOR YOU IS ABIDING

 

Christian, God does stop loving you.

To me, one of the greatest verses in all Scripture is Ephesians 1:6 - "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."

 

If you are a born again Christian, you are accepted by God.

What more can you ask for.

Friends and Family might not always accept you.

Your enemies will not accept you.

Your government, your employer and perhaps even your church may not always accept you.

But you are always accepted in Christ!

 

Oh God does not accept your sin. You need to confess that.

But God does accept you as His child in Christ.

And this kind of love is an abiding love.

One of my favorite passages that shows this abiding love is Psalm 121. This Psalm uses the idea of God's keeping power as the expression of God's love. (I closed this message by reading Psalm 121 as the congregation listened with their eyes closed.)

 

YOU ARE LOVED BY GOD!

 

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REAL MEN ARE STEADY – THE STORY OF ELISHA

Real Men - Lesson #6 of 7

(Here are the outline and questions I used to teach this men’s Bible Study.)

 

Some things stick with you.  Almost 40 years ago I was telling Bob Smith, a man paralyzed from his waist down, that I was going to do a series on Elisha the Prophet.  Bob’s reply was right on when he said “He was steady!”

 

  • What does it mean to be “steady”?
  • Who is the steadiest Christian you know?
  • What Scriptures do you know that tell us we should be steady as Christians?

 

Throughout his life Elisha proved himself to be a steady prophet, or a steady man of God.  A real man of God will follow Elisha’s example. Here are some ways that Elisha showed himself to be steady.

 

STEADY TRAINING – 1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21

  • God chose Elisha to be Elijah’s successor. Vss. 15-16
  • After Elijah called Elisha, what did Elisha do?
  • How did Elisha learn to be a prophet?
  • What responsibility does the local church have in training future leaders?  How should we go about training future leaders?  Ephesians 4:11-12, 2 Timothy 2:1-2,
  • Do we ever push people into leadership when they are not ready?  Why?

 

STEADY TRANSITION – 2 Kings 2

  • Everyone knew that Elijah would be leaving. Vss. 1-8
  • What did Elisha know about the future that would be a concern to Him?
  • Why did Elisha refuse to leave Elijah alone? Vs. 9
  • Was Elisha’s request selfish? Vs. 9
  • Why was Elisha’s request a hard thing? Vs. 10
  • What are some “hard things” that men of God should be requesting of God?
  • Why do you think Elisha tore his garments when Elijah was taken to Heaven? Vss. 11-12
  • What was the significance of the parting of the waters by Elisha? Vss. 13-15
  • How do we know when someone is ready teach, preach or lead?

 

STEADY TESTIMONY – 2 Kings 4

  •  Why is a man’s testimony important?
  •  Read verses 1-7.
  •  How did this instance affect Elisha’s testimony?
  •  What lessons are here for those who will be leaders?
  •  Read verses 8-10.
  •  What was Elisha’s testimony to this woman that

      prompted her to do what she did?

  •  How should we treat Godly leaders today?

1 Timothy 5:17-18

  •  The lady had no child but Elisha promised her a son and

      a son was born. Vss. 11-17

  •  The son became sick and died.  It was his response of

      concern and prayer that saved the child. Vss. 32-37

  •  Why is it important that men of God be compassionate?
  •  Why is it important that men of God be men of prayer?

 

STEADY TRANSMISSION – 2 Kings 5

  • Naaman was a mighty Syrian general who had leprosy. Vs. 1
  • His wife’s maid, an Israelite, told her about Elisha.

     Vss. 2-3

  • When the Syrian king was approached, he sent Naaman to the king of Israel. Vss. 4-7
  • Elisha was not afraid to speak up, to speak for the Lord and to take on the hard jobs.  Vs. 8
  • Why is it that men sometimes shrink away from certain jobs for the Lord?
  • How do we know when it’s time to attempt something for the Lord that seems difficult at best, and impossible at the worst?
  • How was Elisha’s procedure and proclamation bold and risky?  Vss. 10-12
  • How was Elisha vindicated? Vss. 13-19
  • In what ways does God vindicate His servants today?

 

STEADY TRUST – 2 Kings 6:8-23

  • With God’s help, Elisha was warning the King of Israel about the ambushes of the Syrians. Vss. 8-10
  • The King of Syria sent to capture Elisha, when he discovered what Elisha was doing. Vss. 11-14
  • Why did Elisha’s servant panic?  Vss. 15
  • Why did Elisha fail to panic? Vss. 16-17
  • What does Elisha teach us about trust?
  • What verses do you know that remind us to trust God in the midst of troubles?

 

STEADY TERMINATION – 2 Kings 13:14-21

  • When should a leader retire?
  • When did Elisha retire? Vss. 13-21
  • What does Elisha teach us about faithfulness?
  • Elijah and Elisha both finished well.
  • What does The Apostle Paul teach us in Acts 20:24

But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

 

  • What does he teach us in 2 Timothy 4:7-8?

2 Timothy 4:7-8 - I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: [8] Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

 

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