SERMON SEEDS FOR WEEK OF 5/11/20
May 12, 2020, 7:35 PM

SERMON SEEDS

S19 – THE WEEK OF MAY 11, 2020

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HEBREWS 13:8 - THE SAME!

Have you noticed, for as much as we don't like change, change occurs?

In February things began to change as the Carona Virus pandemic took hold.

  • Life may never be the same.
  • We have more restrictions than we’ve ever seen in our lifetime.
  • There is more general fear and apprehension than we’ve ever seen before.
  • We are literally further apart than we’ve ever been before.
  • There is a very level of uncertainty and stress!

THINGS HAVE CHANGED AND WE DON’T LIKE IT!

So what can I say to you who can’t come to church this morning, but listening on line, looking for a ray of hope, a word of encouragement?

Hebrews 13:8 - Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

If you are a born-again Christian this morning, this basic truth is still true. It has not changed. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God in the flesh, has not changed. He's still on the throne. He's still in charge. He's still available to help. He still cares.

  1. you are not sure that you are born-again, or if you are sure that you are not, this truth is still true, and that’s why you need to trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

Because Jesus does not change, we can be hopeful, we can find peace and rest, we can be confident, and we can go on!

There are at least four things about the Lord Jesus that have not and will not change!

JESUS IS POWERFUL, YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER

YESTERDAY JESUS WAS POWERFUL

Isaiah 9:6, John 1:1-5 - Jesus is God!

Yesterday Jesus showed His power when He came to earth.

Healing the lame and the blind, casting out demons, calming the sea, raising the dead.

The Cross - 2 Corinthians 5:21

The resurrection - 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

The Ascenson - Luke 24:50-53

TODAY, JESUS IS POWERFUL

Ephesians 1:19-23

If Jesus is still powerful, still in control, and still God, why is the world such a mess?

Hurt, pain and sorrow are caused by man's sin, not by God.

God has given man free will to make choices and often man makes very bad choices.

And if God did not allow choice, we'd be robots.

Also, God has a plan that I don't understand, and these tragedies are part of His plan.

And often God uses these tragedies to get our attention, to draw us to Himself. Some people would never turn to God unless things like this happened.

I am very comforted by the words of Colossians 1:17, And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

No matter what, Jesus holds things together. We need not fear.

Jesus still shows his power by working miracles today.

Every time someone comes to Christ as their Savior that is a miracle of God’s Grace.

More people are seeking online messages and Bible Studies.

Christians are using this as a witnessing tool.

Pastors have increased their outreach.

And Jesus shows His power each time prayer is answered in His name. John 14:13-14

FOREVER, JESUS IS POWERFUL!

Revelation 19:19-21, Philippians 2:10-11

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

JESUS IS POWERFUL, YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER

JESUS PARDONS, YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER

YESTERDAY, JESUS PARDONED

Before God created man, God knew that man would sin.

Before God created man, God knew that man would fail to please God.

Before God created man, God had a plan so that man could be pardoned. Yesterday, 2000 years ago, Jesus did die for our sins, so that we might be forgiven. 1 Peter 1:18-20

TODAY JESUS PARDONS

Today Jesus offers pardon to all who believe. John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9

And when we Christians sin, pardon is still available. John 1:9

FOREVER JESUS PARDONS

Hebrews 10:14 - For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.

JESUS IS PRESENT, YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND FOREVER

YESTERDAY, JESUS WAS PRESENT

God has been present throughout all history.

  • As Angel of the Lord
  • As God throughout every event.
  • Garden of Eden, Abraham, Joseph, David, Elijah, Ruth, Esther

And Jesus was present when He is, for us, unthinkable. He became a man, and walked among men. John 1:14 – And the word became flesh…

TODAY, JESUS IS PRESENT!

John 14:16-18, Matthew 28:20

FOREVER, JESUS IS PRESENT!

Revelation 22:1-5

JESUS CHRIST IS PEACE, YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER

YESTERDAY, JESUS WAS PEACE – God is a God of peace!

TODAY, JESUS IS PEACEJohn 14:27

FOREVER, JESUS IS PEACERevelation 22:1-5

THIS MESSAGE OUTLINE WAS SHARED LAST WEEK AND REVISED FOR PREACHING THIS WEEK. THIS IS WHAT I PREACHED FROM.

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1 SAMUEL 16:1-13 – MOVING ON!

Life is full of disappointments.  Our own actions, circumstances, health conditions, people, and a host of other things will disappoint us.  It is very easy to let the disappointments get us so discouraged that we stop serving the Lord!  When things aren't going the way we'd like them to go we have a tendency to give up.  There is a time to accept the disappointments and move on to whatever God has planned for us next.

The prophet Samuel was discouraged.  He had anointed Saul as King of Israel, but in God's eyes, he was a great failure. 1 Samuel 13:5-16, 1 Samuel 15:1-31

Through the life of Samuel, God teaches some lessons about moving on after a disappointment.

THERE IS A TIME TO STOP MOURNING. - Vs. 1 - Samuel mourned because of Saul's failure.  All the mourning in the world does not change situations.  There is a time to stop grieving, realizing that in spite of disappointments, God is in control.

THERE IS A TIME TO ACCEPT GOD'S WILL - Vs. 1 - Saul had been rejected!  Samuel had to accept the fact that God had another plan for Israel and for him.  So often we stubbornly hold on to what we think God's will should be, when in reality, God has another plan. God's plan is always the best plan.

THERE IS A TIME TO MOVE ON IN MINISTRY - Vss. 1-5 - God's plan was for Samuel to go to Bethlehem and anoint another king.  Although Samuel was afraid of what Saul would do, he chose to obey God and go to Bethlehem.  When we finally stop mourning and accept God's will in a disappointment, it is time to move forward and do as God directs.

THERE IS A TIME TO BE SENSITIVE TO GOD'S LEADING - Vss. 6-13 - It would have been easy for Samuel to anoint the wrong son of Jesse as king. He had to listen for God's guidance and God led him to His choice as King.  After we have been grieving, we especially need to get back "in tune" with God and allow Him to guide us.

If we think about it, it is always time to accept God's will, move on in ministry and to be sensitive to God's leading.

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PSALM 115 – WHY WE SERVE GOD

THE PREEMINENCE OF GOD - Vss. 1-3

THE PROBLEM WITH IDOLS - Vss. 4-8

THE PRIORITY OF TRUST - Vss. 9-11

THE PROMISES OF GOD - Vss. 12-18

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EZEKIEL 34:1-6 – A GOOD SHEPHERD

The "shepherds of Israel" are a great negative example to those of us who are responsible for ministry to God's people. By doing the exact opposite, we will be good shepherds in service to the greatest shepherd of all.

A GOOD SHEPHERD FEEDS THE FLOCK - Vss. 1-3, 1 Peter 5:2-3

A GOOD SHEPHERD HEALS THE SICK - Vs. 4 - I'm thinking of the Spiritually sick. Galatians 6:1-2

A GOOD SHEPHERD SEEKS THE LOST - Vss. 4-6, 2 Timothy 4:5, Acts 1:8

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MATTHEW 7:1-6 – LOOKING FOR TROUBLE

It is very easy to pass judgment on others, and it is very easy to be wrong. In this passage we see an a common and much misunderstood problem in Christianity today. It is a problem that I call, "asking for, or looking for trouble".  When we practice the wrong kind of judgment we are inviting troubles into our own lives.

STANDARDS OF JUDGMENT - Vss. 1-2

Vs. 1 - People have read this verse and have come to the conclusion that they should not do any judging at all.  This is not what Jesus is saying. There are at least three specific times when we as Christians should do some judging.

1. We should be able to judge a false teacher when we see one. Matthew 7:15-20

2. We are to judge sin in the local church. 1 Corinthians 5

3. We are to judge disagreements between Christians. 1 Corinthians 6:1-8

If there are occasions for us to judge, when should we not judge?

To judge here carries the idea of condemning another. This would also refer to a critical spirit.  Gossip is involved here. People are forever criticizing and evaluating others in a negative sense.

We are all too capable of criticizing a person's motives, methods and ministry (effectiveness of it).

Preachers who have national ministries seem to be favorite targets for unmerciful attacks.  I don't always agree with what these ministers say and/or do, but the judgmental pronouncements that I have seen and heard are often uncalled for.

How can we tell when we are being critical or judgmental? We can ask:

1. Am I sincerely grieved over sin, or am I speaking self-righteously?

2. Am I speaking about this person's fault because I am concerned about this person's spiritual well being? If not, I should keep my mouth shut. And even if I am concerned, maybe I should keep my shut anyway. Proverbs 11:13

3. Am I critical of this person because I want to make this person to look bad and me to look good?

4. Am I critical of this person because I am secretly jealous of his success or notoriety?

Vs. 2 - Notice that God promises judgment according to the same standards that we judge. I, for one, would rather have fair, equitable, and merciful judgment concerning myself. Wouldn't you?

I get the impression in this verse that God is saying, "When you criticize another for his failure, you will be tempted in the same area."

Have you ever criticized another for losing their temper, and then lost yours?

Have you ever criticized someone for being defensive, and then become defensive yourself?

Have you ever criticized another for being dishonest, and then been tempted to be dishonest yourself?

SEEING THE PROBLEM - Vss. 3-5

Does Jesus expect us to ignore the problems in another's life? The answer is "No!"

The Lord does want us to see the other person's problem clearly.

Most of us can spot the problems of others, so we think, without spotting our own problems.

Vss. 3-4 - A mote is a piece of sawdust or chaff. A beam is a log or wooden rafter.

I think of Jesus were speaking in our language today he might say, "Why are you finding fault with the splinter in your brother's eye, when there's a two by four in your eye?"

You can't see clearly to correct a brother of a sister when you yourself have greater problems.

Vs. 5 - When we feel motivated to criticize we should look at ourselves first, and confess whatever failures we have (1 John 1:5-10).  As we do that two things will happen. First, when I am right with the Lord, I will know whether I need to deal with the person's problem or not. Second, if I do go to that person with a criticism, I will do it with the right attitude. Galatians 6:1

SHARING THE TRUTH - Vs. 6

One of the things we should be doing as Christians is sharing. We should be sharing the gospel with the unsaved (1 Peter 3:15). We should be sharing what the Lord is doing in our lives with other believers (Hebrews 10:24-25).  And we should be sharing what God is teaching with others. (2 Timothy 2:1-2).

In this verse we are told to be discriminating as we share with others.

We are not required to share our testimony, or the Gospel, or blessings, or truths from God's Word with those who seek to mock, make fun, or ridicule Christianity. Indeed we are to share our "pearls" with those who will listen, but when someone is seeking to cause embarrassment for the Gospel, we are not obligated to share.

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LUKE 7:1-19 – PRAYER LESSONS FROM A SOLDIER

LIFE OF CHRIST #20

Since the earliest days of the world’s history, there have been soldiers.

There have been good soldiers and there have been bad soldiers.

There have soldiers who were upright and moral, and those who were not.

There have been those who have been loyal and those who have not.

There have those who trusted God and those who have not.

There have been those who have prayed, and those who have not

As we continue our series on the Life of Christ, we find an event that happened shortly after Jesus chose the 12 Apostles.

This story involves a centurion, who was an officer in the Roman military, the equivalent of a captain today.

The centurion in our Scripture reading this morning was a good man. And although he was not praying, in the strictest sense, because Jesus was literally walking around on earth, his example gives us some lessons about prayer.

TAKE YOUR BURDEN TO THE BURDEN BEARER

Vss. 1-2 – During much of Jesus’ ministry Capernaum was his headquarters.

In Capernaum there was a soldier.

The soldier had a servant that was evidently like a son to Him.

The servant was very sick and about ready to die.

The Man had a burden.   

Life is full of burdens.  Some burdens are bigger than others, but we all have burdens. 

What do we normally do with these burdens?

There are various ways of handling burdens.

Some will sit, and stew, and pout, not saying a word.

Some will talk and talk and talk to others about their problems.

Some will worry themselves sick over problems.

Some will become grouchy and irritable over their problems.

Some will become withdrawn over their problems.

Some will develop ulcers.

Some will do what this centurion did.

HE TOOK HIS BURDEN TO THE BURDEN BEARER   

Vs. 3 – Why did the centurion come to Jesus?

He knew that Jesus had healed others.

Perhaps he had believed on Him as his Savior, or as the Messiah.

Whatever the other reasons, the centurion knew that Jesus was capable of bearing this burden of his servant’s sickness, and that Jesus was capable of healing his servant.

My friend, God is a burden bearer. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are burden bearers.

If you are one who is saved this morning, one who knows that your sins are forgiven, and that you are going to Heaven, it is because Jesus bore the burden of your sin. 1 Peter 3:18

Now Christian, if Jesus as your burden bearer, has taken care of your greatest burden, sin, won’t he take care of all your other burdens too?   

Shouldn’t we bring every burden to Him?

Psalm 55:22 - Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

1 Peter 5:7 - Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

HUMBLE YOURSELF BEFORE THE HUMBLE ONE

Vss. 4-5 – The Jewish leaders who had been sent by the centurion assured Jesus that this man, though a Gentile by birth, was a worthy man. He loved the nation, Israel, and had even built them a Synagogue.  Believe me this was high praise coming from the Jews concerning a Gentile!

Vss. 6-7 – Jesus went, I feel, not because the man loved Israel or built a synagogue, but because Jesus is the “burden bearer”.

And the ironic thing is that the centurion sent and said, “I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, or for me to come to you myself.”

He knew that he was not as good as the Lord Jesus.

He knew that he was a sinner.

He knew that he did not deserve anything from the Lord Jesus, especially his presence.

The Centurion was humbling himself before the humble one, who left the splendor of Heaven to come to earth for us, and who would eventually humble himself to the point of death for our sins. Philippians 2:5-8

This same humble mind of Christ is to be in his followers.

And although we are invited to come boldly before the “Throne of Grace”, we are also to come humbly before God.

We need to be humble enough to confess any know sin.

We need to be humble enough to admit that we can’t bear the burden ourselves.

We need to be humble enough to realize that we have no merit in ourselves. But can only ask in the name of Christ. James 4:6, John 14:13-14

It is possible to try to be bossy with God.

It is possible to think God owes us something.

It is possible to pray without the Lord Jesus’ stamp of approval.

This is all pride!

TRUST THE ONE WHO CAN BE TRUSTED   

Vs. 7 – The Centurion is saying, “You don’t have to see my servant. You don’t have to come to my servant. You don’t have to touch my servant. I trust that you word is sufficient to get the job done.”

That is faith.

Vs. 8 – The Centurion recognized that Jesus was under God’s authority.

He also realized that Jesus had authority.

Just as the Centurion was under authority and had authority, and could make commands, so it was with Jesus.

Jesus had to say the Word and the servant would be healed.

The Centurion is showing us that faith is essential to prayer. Mark 11:22-24

Vss. 9-10 – Jesus had never seen greater faith in Israel.

The servant was healed.

Beloved, have you trusted Jesus with you soul?

You have trusted Jesus with you soul, if you have trusted Him as you Savior. Romans 10:9-10

Beloved if you have trusted Jesus with you soul, can’t you trust Him with your problems too?

Can’t Jesus be trusted with every burden that you have?

Of course He can!

Who is it that should be showing great faith today?

It is you and I who as God’s children should be boldly coming before the Throne of Grace, getting God’s work accomplished on our knees!

PRAYER LESSONS FROM A SOLDIER:

TAKE YOUR BURDEN TO THE BURDEN BEARER

HUMBLE YOURSELF BEFORE THE HUMBLE ONE

TRUST THE ONE WHO CAN BE TRUSTED   

 

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NEED TO KNOW

If you think about it, whatever we do and whatever decisions we need to make, we need to know certain things in order to do a job right or in order to make an intelligent decision.

The most important decision that anyone can make is to trust the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

We usually refer to it as being “saved”.

If you ask someone who has not trusted Jesus as their Savior if they are saved, they, in many cases won’t understand what you talking about.  They may respond saying they don’t know what you are talking about.  Or, they respond with a “no”.  Or they may say “yes”, thinking that being saved is something entirely different from what you know it is.

If someone is going to make a decision to trust Christ as Savior, there are certain things they need to know.

1. THEY ARE SINNERS WHO DON’T DESERVE HEAVEN

Before a person can be saved, he or she must realize that he is lost!  That is, that they aren’t going to Heaven in their current state.

Many people have a wrong idea about what sin is.

Many will refer to sin as just being human or simply making a mistake.

If you ask them if they are sinners, they will say “no”.

If you ask them why God should let them into Heaven, they’ll tell you because they are basically good people who try to do good things

Many people think that sin is what murderers, bank robbers, drug users and adulterers do.

They do not consider themselves to be sinners, who need help.

But the Scriptures paint a totally different picture.

Romans 3:23 - For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

If you compare yourself to other human beings, you can usually come to the conclusion that you are not such a bad person.  You can always find people who are more immoral, more nasty, more dishonest or more hypocritical than you are.

But when we compare ourselves to God we find that we are definitely inferior.  We have “fallen short” compared to a righteous, holy, God.

This is bad news. But it gets worse as we examine

Isaiah 64:6.

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

This verse is very graphic.

We are all dirty.

And though we may think ourselves to be very righteous, our righteousness is like filthy rags. 

You have probably met people who thought they were smartly dressed, when in reality their clothes were not nice at all.

Anyone who is trying to get to Heaven based on their own righteousness or goodness is dressed in filthy rags because they are trying to place their righteousness on the same level as God’s.  It doesn’t work.

It says that all fade like a leaf.  Leaves eventually shrivel up, so does our righteousness fade in proportion to God’s righteousness.

And our iniquities are so bad, that they carry us away like a good stiff wind!

So, basically put, we do not deserve to be in the presence of God because of our sin. He is holy and we are not.  We don’t deserve to go to Heaven because God is holy and we are not.

So why is this a problem?  Ezekiel 18:4 answers that question.

Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Because He is creator, God owns everyone.

The rich, the poor, the famous, the infamous, the showy, the bland, all belong to God.

That means every one of us will answer to God.

Romans 14:12 - So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

And then the verse adds, the soul that sinneth, it shall die.   

Death is separation.  A dead body is separated from life.

A dead soul is separated from God.

A dead soul suffers in Hell

And Romans 6:23a tells us more - For the wages of sin is death;

If we are paid what we deserve, everyone of us has earned spiritual death, spiritual separation from God.

God is a righteous God, and therefore requires that payment be made for our sins.

But there is good news for all sinners

2. THERE IS A SAVIOR WHO DIED FOR THEM

 We just said that God is a righteous, holy God, requiring payment for sin.

But the good news is that not only is God righteous and holy, but God is a God of love.

God in His love made a way for our sins to be paid for as Romans 5:6-8 tells us. - For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. [7] For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

[8] But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

When we were without strength Christ died for the ungodly.

We have already showed you that the ungodly is all of us.

And when Christ died for us it was in “due time” or as the NASB says, “in the right time”.

Paul goes on to state that it would be understandable if someone might die for someone who was righteous or good, but we are neither.

But God’s love was so strong that He sent His Son to die while we were yet sinners.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us more about this amazing act of love.

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Jesus, God’s Son, did not deserve to die, but He died in your place and mine.

He was sinless - You and I are not.

He was perfect – You and I are not.

He did not deserve to die – You and I do.

He did not deserve to suffer for our sins – You and I do.

3. THERE IS SALVATION THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST

First of all, we must remember to tell those who are hearing the Gospel, that Jesus is alive from the dead!

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 - For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; [4] And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Salvation, or being rescued from the penalty of our sin, is not based on what we do, but on what we believe.   

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

To be justified is to be declared right with God.

Notice we don’t earn being right with God, we are declared right God, based on our faith.

We end up with peace with God and actually become His children

John 1:12 - But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

We mentioned the first part of Romans 6:23 before, For the wages of sin is death;   

But now look at the whole verse.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Salvation is a gift based on what Christ did to die for our sins.

Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Grace is God giving me what I don’t deserve as a gift.

It is “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”!

I accept this gift by faith.

Of course, the Gospel has been summed up nicely by 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.

We need to realize that God has provided each individual a choice.  If we decide to believe on Jesus Christ and accept his free gift, we have eternal life and a new life now.

If we fail to accept His free gift, we have a problem.

John 3:36 - He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

There are many who have heard the Gospel and have failed to act on it.  Failing to believe is rejecting Christ’s free offer.

I can’t help it if somebody fails to trust Christ for forgiveness and eternal life.

However I am responsible to share what I know with others, so they have the opportunity to believe.

Romans 10:13-15 - For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. [14] How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? [15] And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Your unsaved friends and loved ones need to know three things in order to make a decision to trust Christ as Savior.    

1. THEY ARE SINNERS WHO DON’T DESERVE HEAVEN   

2. THERE IS A SAVIOR WHO DIED FOR THEM   

3. THERE IS SALVATION THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST   

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Your Brother in Christ,

Jack Peters

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