SERMON SEEDS
March 14, 2019, 6:22 PM

SERMON SEEDS FOR WEEK OF 3/11/19


SERMON SEEDS

R8 – THE WEEK OF MARCH 11, 2019

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 over 40 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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NEHEMIAH 1 - DO I CARE?

NEHEMIAH – GOD’S MAN IN TIME OF CRISES

Lesson #2 of 10 – Complete Lesson

What are the biggest crises in the world today?

  • What are some things that Christians tend to care less about over time if they are not careful?
  • Name a Christian who God used to change an area of the world because that Christian cared?

 

In Nehemiah 1, we meet Nehemiah, a man who faced many crises in his service to God.  In this chapter we find that the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem began with the burden of just one man.  With all the sin, degradation, and crises all around us, we need to ask ourselves, “Do I care?” “Am I burdened enough to pour out my heart before God and take steps to be used in a time of crisis?”

AM I PERTURBED? – Vss. 1-4

  • Nehemiah was in the employ of the King of Persia.  Israel had been carried into captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon.  Babylon had been conquered by Persia.  After 70 years of captivity, some Jews were allowed to return and eventually rebuild the temple.  The King that Nehemiah served under was probably Artaxerxes.  Ezra the Scribe had led a contingent back to Jerusalem in the king’s 7th year.  It is now his 20th year.
  • Nehemiah received a report from his brother concerning the conditions in Jerusalem.
  • What was the significance of the walls being down?
  • Where, figuratively speaking, do you see the walls down today?
  • Is there a crisis every time the walls are down? Why?
  • The biggest crisis is when the walls are down in _______________. Proverbs 25:28
  • How did Nehemiah show that he was perturbed by the news that he received?
  • How will we know when we are properly perturbed about broken down walls?
  • What are some of the things that make us lose or not have a concern for broken walls?
  • What do you think is the bottom line reason that we should be concerned for broken down walls?

AM I PRAYERFUL? – Vss. 4-5

    • What are some of the commands to pray and prayer promises that we have at our disposal?
    • If we have so many commands to pray and promises of answered prayer, why do we fail to be effective in our prayer lives?
    • What made Nehemiah effective?

AM I PENITENT? – Vs. 5-7

  • Vs. 5 – When Nehemiah prayed, what did he do first? Why is that significant?
  • How frequent were Nehemiah’s prayers?  What did Jesus teach on the same subject? Luke 11:5-13, 18:1-8
  • Vss. 6-7 – Why should we confess more than just our own sins?
  • What will happen if we do not deal with our sins? Psalm 66:18, Proverbs 28:9, 1 Corinthians 11:27-32, 1 Peter 3:7
  • Remember that our hearts must be right with God before we can help rebuild the walls and before we will truly have a burden for the walls to be built!

AM I PROMISED? – Vs. 8-9

    • Why are the childish words, “But you promised!” effective words in prayer?
    • In claiming God’s promises, Nehemiah was summarizing what God had said in such passages as Deuteronomy 4:25-31, 30:1-5, Leviticus 26:27-45 and 2 Chronicles 6:36-39.
    • In times of crisis why does time in the Word of God take on even more significance?
    • How can 1 John 5:14-15 expand our prayer lives in times of crisis?

      And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to

      his  will, he heareth us: [15] And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we

     know that  we have the petitions that we desired of him.

AM I PROACTIVE? – Vs. 10-11

  • Vs. 10 - Notice who Nehemiah was concerned for.  How should our concern for our brothers and sisters affect our willingness to be involved in times of crisis?
  • What three qualities mentioned in verse 10 should distinguish us as Christians?
  • What lesson does Nehemiah teach us about availability?
  • How did Nehemiah know what he should do?

 

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PSALM 142 – THE LONESOME VALLEY

 

There will be times of deep distress when we are standing alone.  For those times of loneliness and frustration there is a wonderful Psalm of David, Psalm 142.

 

David was in a “lonesome valley” when he wrote this Psalm.  Only, his “lonesome valley” was actually a cave where he was evidently very alone.

 

We are given some interesting information about the Psalm from the heading.

 

A Maschil was perhaps a Psalm of instruction.  This Psalm gives instruction to all Christians who feel like they are “up against it” or having an extremely difficult time.

 

The author is David.  You know who David was. 

  • He was the young teenager who stood up to the Giant Goliath when the whole army of Israel was fleeing from him.  1 Samuel 17:45-46
  • Because of this victory David became a national hero.  He was then a public figure that didn’t let his popularity go to his head. 1 Samuel 18:14
  • There was a problem, however.  The current king, Saul, had disqualified himself as king, and God told him that he and his family would be replaced.  When David emerged it became obvious to Saul who that next king would be.  Saul eventually became David’s enemy.
  • Saul tried to kill David on several occasions.
  • David had an enemy that he didn’t want. David did not try to hurt Saul in return. He waited for God to deal with Saul in God’s time.
  • David did eventually become king.

 

Now back to our heading.  This Psalm is a prayer written in a cave.

David had to flee from Saul. He became a refugee and often hid in caves. Saul was out to get him, so he hid.

 

I think it most likely that the cave referred to in this Psalm is the cave Adullam. 1 Samuel 22:1-2

It seems that David was alone when he wrote this Psalm.

I believe it was written before his family and friends showed up.   

 

This prayer is one that might encourage you when you feel like you are in a “lonesome valley”.

 

DAVID’S APPROACH – Vss. 1-2

 

David knew who to approach in that lonesome valley.  He sets the example for us.  He comes to God.  Let us remember that this is exactly where God wants us when we hurt. He wants us before His throne.  It is a throne of grace! Hebrews 4:15-16

 

Vs. 1 – David was not silent in his lonesome valley.  His prayer was a prayer that was made out loud.  It was a burdened prayer that unloaded everything on God. Psalm 55:22  

 

Vs. 2 – David poured out his complaint.  He was not complaining about God.  He was expressing to God his concerns.  He spelled out his trouble to God.

 

If God is all knowing, omniscient, why should David or us tell God what the problem is?

Bringing the problem to God is an act of faith.  God wants us to trust Him.

 

Another reason for pouring out your complaint before God is that He cares. 1 Peter 5:7

 

DAVID’S AGONY – Vss. 3-4

 

Vs. 3 – David’s spirit was overwhelmed.  His problems and sorrow were so great that he almost didn’t know where to turn. You’ve probably been in that position.

 

David’s enemies, particularly Saul, were setting secret traps for him.

Satan works this way as well.  That is why we sometimes get broadsided with problems and sin. Satan sets a trap when we least expect it.

 

Vs. 4 – If you are right handed, you want your tools at your right hand.  You want your friends handy to help you as well. Perhaps this is why we have the phrase “Right hand man”.

 

David looked for help, and at that moment in time there was nobody there.  There was no help available.

Eventually the help would come, but for the moment he was on his own.

But was he really alone?

The answer, of course, is no!

 

Even in this agony, David was not alone!

when my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path…

 

DAVID’S ASSISTANCE – Vss. 5-6

 

Vs. 5 – There are two good reasons why David cried out to God here.

 

God was David’s refuge.  He could always come to God for protection and help.  God is always available to His children in times of deepest distress.

 

Psalm 46:1 - God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

 

God is also our refuge from our biggest problem, punishment for sin.

It is God the Son who died on the cross, was buried and rose again.

It is God the Son who is our refuge from judgment when we put our trust in Him.

Have you taken your refuge in Christ? John 3:36

 

God was David’s most prized position. God was more important than anything and anybody.  Is that true of you? Lamentations 3:24

 

Notice in this verse that the Lord is our refuge and portion in the “Land of the living.”  Christianity is not just for when I die.  God is our refuge and portion for all eternity.

But God is to be my refuge now while I’m living.

God is to be my portion, my prized possession now while I’m living.

 

Vs. 6 – I love David’s honesty.  He needed God’s help, God’s assistance, and he admitted it.  He generally wasn’t one of these people who tried to solve His own problems.  He relied on God.

 

He was “brought very low” by his persecutors.

He sought God’s assistance because he realized that his persecutors were stronger than he was.

 

You will find very often that your persecutors are stronger than you are.  Your ultimate persecutor, Satan is. That’s why you need God’s help. 1 Peter 5:8-9

 

DAVID’S ASSURANCE – Vs. 7

 

Vs. 7 – I wouldn’t take the word “prison” literally here.

 

We have all sorts of problems that are “prisons”.

Usually when we want to be delivered by God from our prisons we are looking for an easier life for ourselves. However David had a different motive.

 

If God delivered David from prison, David would be able to give God the glory for it! He would be able to give the praise to God for it. God would be glorified.

 

Instead of asking God to deliver us from prison so we’d have an easier time of it, let us ask God to deliver us from prison so that he would be glorified!

 

And when we are delivered from prison it will be the righteous who are there for us.

 

I love the last phrase of this Psalm, for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

 

David was confident that God would deal bountifully with Him.

When someone does something bountifully, it is generous, it is gracious, and it is more than we need.

When God deals bountifully with us, He is generous, He is gracious, and He gives us more than we need. Psalm 73:23-26

 

Are you in a “lonesome valley”?

Learn from David and be comforted.

If you are not in a lonesome valley, you will be.

Learn from David so you will be prepared when that valley comes!

 

DAVID’S APPROACH

DAVID’S AGONY

DAVID’S ASSISTANCE

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EZEKIEL 22:30 – THE SEARCH

And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in

the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

GOD’S RESEARCH – He was looking for a man.

GOD’S REQUIREMENT – The man would be a man of teaching (Ezra 7:19) and prayer (Acts 6:4), “making up the hedge” and “standing in the gap”.   

GOD’S REMORSE – He found none.

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MATTHEW 16:1-12 – DISCUSSIONS

In these verse our Lord has two discussions, one with the Pharisees and Sadducees, the other with his disciples.

LOOKING FOR A SIGN - Vss. 1-4

The Jews were always looking for a sign. Jesus told them that the sign they would be was the "sign of Jonah".  Jonah, came out of the belly of the whale. Jesus would come out of the grave.

LEANING ON LOGIC - Vss. 5-7

The disciples forgot bread.

Jesus said to beware of the "Leaven of the Pharisees".

The logic of the disciples was that Jesus made this statement because they forgot bread.

Instead of asking Jesus what he meant, they used their own logic. That was a mistake. Proverbs 3:5-7

LEARNING THE TRUTH - Vss. 8-12

Jesus rebuked the disciples, reminded him of his power to feed, and explained what he really meant. He was warning against the false teaching of the Pharisees and Saducees.

 

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JOHN 6:1-14 etc. – THERE’S A LAD HERE!

 

The main job of a child is to learn.

A child learns to crawl, stand, and walk.

A child learns to talk, learns the alphabet and learns to read.

A child should learn to obey, and then do things himself.

A child should learn to think.

A child should learn Spiritual truths. Proverbs 22:6, Psalm 92:13, Ephesians 6:4

A child is capable of being saved and learning about prayer, Bible reading and memorization, Bible stories, and giving.  As children learn, they start to teach us. While growing up, our son, David, taught us about giving.  Our son, Mark, taught us about trusting.  Our daughter, Donna, taught us about witnessing.

In the Scriptures there are those children and young people who learn lessons, and, consequently, teach us.

Andrew states in John 6:9, "There is a lad here."

Often in the Bible there is a lad or young lady who is present to learn, and through learning, instructs us.

THERE IS A LAD HERE AND HE IS LEARNING TO LISTEN TO FOR GOD - 1 Samuel 3:1-10, 19-4:1

THERE IS A LAD HERE AND HE'S LEARNING TO LEAN ON GOD - 1 Samuel 17

David's motive - the glory of God - Vss. 26-27

David's memory - past victories - Vss. 34-36

David's method - trust God, Do what you know how to do, Go in the Lord's name. - Vss. 46-50

 

THERE IS A LAD HERE AND HE'S LEARNING TO LOAN TO GOD - John 6:1-14

Proverbs 19:17

Matthew 6:19-21

Luke 21:1-4

2 Corinthians 9:6-8

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ROMANS 12:9-13 – THE CHRISTIAN I WANT TO BE

These verses show us some of the ways we show the love we have for our Lord and for fellow Christians.

LOVE IS PURE - Vs. 9 - Love hates evil and clings to the good.

LOVE IS PREFERENTIAL - Vs. 10 - Christians are to love all, even there enemies.  But we are to have a special love for our brothers and sisters in Christ.  They should be our nearest and dearest friends.

LOVE IS PRODUCTIVE - Vss. 11-12 - These expressions of love are very positive.  Some of these we express towards God, and others towards man.

LOVE IS PRACTICAL - Vs. 13 - Love expresses itself through meeting the needs of those who are hurting, and showing hospitality.

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2 PETER 1:5-7 – BEDROCK FAITH

CHRISTIAN CHARACTER CLINIC #2

2 Peter 1:5-7 - And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; [6] And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; [7] And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

  • How is faith a distinctive part of Christianity?
  • How has faith made a difference in your life?
  • What are some things that you have done using your Christian faith?

The basic, bedrock quality that a Christian must have is faith.  In this passage it is saving faith on which Christian character is built.  Saving faith is essential, but there are other kinds of faith that the Christian needs to practice. The more we have established, developed, and practiced our faith, the more we will be able to develop the Christian characteristics that follow.

SAVING FAITH

Romans 5:1 - Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Romans 10:13 - For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

1 John 5:12 - He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

SEEKING FAITH

Hebrews 11:6 - But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. [6] In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

SEEING FAITH

Isaiah 26:3-4 - Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. [4] Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:

Hebrews 12:2 - Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

SHARING FAITH

Acts 1:8 - But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

1 Peter 3:15 - But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

SERVING FAITH

1 Peter 4:10-11 - As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. [11] If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

SIMPLE FAITH

Luke 17:3-6 - Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. [4] And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. [5] And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. [6] And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

Mark 11:22-24 - And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. [23] For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. [24] Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

STRETCHED FAITH

James 1:2-4 - My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; [3] Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. [4] But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

SUBMISSIVE FAITH

James 4:7 - Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Ephesians 5:21 - Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

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