SERMON SEEDS FOR WEEK OF JUNE 29, 2020
June 29, 2020, 6:04 PM

WELCOME TO

SERMON SEEDS

S26 – JUNE 29, 2020

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1 PETER 5;5-11 – FINISHING WELL!

HOLY LIVING IN A HOSTILE WORLD #18

 

There is a difference between finishing first and finishing well! Our grandson, Noah, runs cross-country. Very often, he finishes first for his team. But it seems that most important to him is running well. He compares his performance with his own past performances and is always trying to do better.

I was impressed with how he and other members of the cross-country team are there at the finish line to welcome slower members of the team and cheer them on. Even though they are slower, they finish and are encouraged by others to finish well.

As Christians, we should have a desire to finish our lives well, in honor of our Lord Jesus Christ. We should want to be able to say with the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7-8

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 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.

I love the promise found in Isaiah 46:4 (NKJV) - Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.

We have studied the Book of 1 Peter and we are concluding our study today. The theme can be seen as Holy Living in a Hostile. Even when times get rough and persecution and hardships come our way, we are to live holy, Godly lives. Peter is ending his Epistle with what I view as an encouragement to finish well, and how to do it!

RELINQUISH YOUR RIGHTS Vss. 5-6

Luke 22:42,

According to the Expositor's Bible Commentary, the word "gird" or clothed "…refers to a slave putting on an apron before serving."

John 13:1-14, Proverbs 3:34 - "God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble." Vs. 6 – Isaiah 57:15

RELY ON GOD Vs. 7

Psalm 55:22, Philippians 4:6-7

RESIST THE DEVIL Vss. 8-9

1 Corinthians 10:13, Matthew 4:1-11, Ephesians 6:14-18

REST IN HIS PROMISES – Vs. 10

  1. GOD WILL EQUIP US.
  1. OD WILL ESTABLISH US.

James 5:8

  1. GOD WILL STRENGTHEN US.

Philippians 4:13.

  1. GOD WILL SETTLE US

1 Corinthians 15:58 Be ye steadfast…

RELY ON HIS VICTORY – Vs. 11

2 Thessalonians 1:6-10

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JOSHUA 1:1-9 – GOD DRAFTS AND DEPLOYS

D. O. G. (DEPEND ON GOD) DAYS #2

Of course God drafts and deploys his servants throughout the world today.

God drafts pastors, Sunday School Teachers, board members, missionaries, Christian School teachers and a host of others to do his bidding.  When God drafts people into His service he deploys them, giving them specific assignments.

We have already seen that one of the most important things God wants us to do is to trust Him.  Hebrews 11:6

We have been talking about D. O. G. (Depend on God) days. Last week we began to show reasons why God can be trusted. We saw last week that God Delivers, as God delivered the Children of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt and defeated Pharaoh at the Red Sea.  

This week we want to see that GOD DRAFTS AND DEPLOYS.

God can be trusted because He not only enlists people to do His work, but He also deploys them to get the job done. This morning we want to look at Moses’ successor, Joshua.

After 40 years of wandering, the children of Israel were ready to enter into the Promised Land.  Moses disqualified himself from leading the entrance into Israel’s new home. 

Joshua was drafted to do it instead, and in Joshua 1:1-9 we see his actual deployment for getting the job done.

God has work to be done.

If you are a Christian you have a job to do: Luke 9:23, John 15:16, Ephesians 2:10

There are three things that Joshua needed to know as he was drafted into service and deployed by God to get the job done.

These are same three things that you will need to realize when God drafts and deploys you!

 

REALITY - THE JOB IS MINE Vss. 1-2

Vs. 1 - Moses is called the "Servant of The Lord".

           That is a title that Moses deserved.

            It was a tittle of high honor.

           Moses, by the end of his life, was well respected by his people.

           He had done a good job leading.

           No one, not even Joshua, could be another Moses.

For as much as Joshua is told to be "strong and of good courage" in these verses, I personally think that Joshua was scared to death.

He was probably apprehensive about filling the shoes of a great man.

He was probably apprehensive about the people.

He remembered how stubborn their parents were!

He was probably apprehensive about crossing the Jordan during flood stage.

He was probably apprehensive about the wars that faced him in the Promised Land.

And, he was probably apprehensive about his own ability to lead.

You have probably been called upon at one time or another to do a job for the Lord.  If you haven't, you will.  You will have a tendency to have the same type fears that Joshua had.

Filling the shoes of a great predecessor, looking at the situation and doubting your own abilities, and wondering how you will ever be able to lead people who are stubborn.

Vs. 2 - God speaks to Moses, and you might say that God uses "shock therapy."

God says to Joshua, "Moses my servant is dead."

God is saying to Joshua, "Wake up and face reality."

Moses is dead and gone. He’s not coming back.

It has been said, "God buries his workmen, but not his work."

"Moses is gone Joshua. He's not coming back.

You are the new leader, Joshua, get up and take Israel across to the Promised Land."

God did not ask Joshua to be a Moses.

God asked Joshua to be Joshua, leading the people of God.

He did not have to fill Moses' shoes or be as good as Moses. He simply had to do what God called Joshua to do!

There will be times when God will call you to do something that someone else has been doing. God will call you to take on a responsibility.

God might say to you, "So and So is dead," or "so and so has left," or “This new job needs to be done and I want you to do it!” 

You might say, "I'm not qualified." or "I'm not as good as he or she was." That's not the point. If God calls you to do something, you need to do it!

And folks, remember this. God does not change. Even when leadership or personnel change, God remains the same!

REASSURANCE - GOD IS WITH ME Vss. 3-5

Vss. 3-4 - God had promised Moses and Israel a vast territory. God now says that the promises He made to Moses were good for Joshua.

Here is a great truth which you and I must grasp.

God's promises do not change.

God maintains His promises to each and every generation. Psalm 119:89, Mark 13:31

One of the reasons we should read the Bible for ourselves is so that we can discover the great promises found in the Scriptures.

Vs. 5 - There are great promises here:

1.  “No man can stand before you.”

     We might say, "God plus one man = a majority!"

2. "As I was with Moses, so will I be with you."

  • When Moses spoke for God, God backed him up.
  • When Moses needed guidance, God gave guidance.
  • When Moses needed strength, God gave strength.
  • God stuck with Moses through thick and thin.
  • God tells Joshua, "I will do the same for you, as I did for Moses."

Let us remember that God will do for us, what He has done for other Christians.

3. “I will not fail thee or forsake thee.”

RESPONSIBILITY - DO AS GOD SAYS Vss. 6-9

If Joshua was going to be successful in his new role as leader he had to be obedient.  I think that we forget just how important obedience is.

We can make all sorts of sacrifices for the Lord, but if we don't do as we are told by Him what good are our efforts?

We can spend all sorts of money on the Lord's work, but if it is a "peace offering" because we are not doing what we are told, what good is it?

We can spend all our time attending church and listening to or watching religious programs, but if we don't what we are told by Him what good is it?

1 Samuel 15:22-23  - …Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…

In verses Joshua is told three times to be strong and courageous or of good courage.  When I repeat myself, I want a point to sink in. When God repeats Himself, He wants the point to sink in.

Actually in these verses there are three reasons to be strong and courageous.

Vs. 6 - BE STRONG BECAUSE OF GOD'S PROMISE.

As mentioned before, God had promised that He would give Israel the Promised Land.  He could be strong and courageous because of this promise.

We've already talked about us having the promises of God. As we believe them and obey the conditions for the promises, we can be strong and courageous because we know that God keeps His promises.

Vs. 7 - BE STRONG BECAUSE OF GOD'S PRECEPTS.

It will take strength and courage to obey the Word of God.

But true success will only come as we do exactly as God says, not going off to the right or the left.

Vs. 9 - BE STRONG BECAUSE OF GOD'S PRESENCE

God is saying, "Joshua, are you going to the Promised Land? So am I!"

Joshua could be strong and courageous because He wasn't going anywhere without God, especially when God was the one sending Him.

When Jesus was with the disciples in the middle of a storm out on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus didn't expect them to be afraid for two reasons. First, it was Jesus who had led them out into the sea that night. Second, Jesus went with them.  And, of course, it was Jesus who calmed the storm.

My friend, as long as you follow the will of God, you can be assured of His presence to help and strengthen you.

We want to obey God, by being strong and courageous, but how do we go about doing so?

Vs. 8 - Here is the answer.  We become strong and courageous as we do as we are told in this verse.

First of all, "this book of the law", or God's Word, is not to depart from our mouths.  In other words, God's Word should be talked about, referred to, and discussed.  If the Word of God is the topic of our conversation, we are more likely to do as it says.

But a word of warning, what comes out of your mouth is a direct result of what is in your heart.

Luke 6:45

So how do we get the Word of God on our lips?  It must be in our hearts first. How do we get the Word of God in our hearts? By meditating on God's Word.

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night…

Psalm 1:2 - But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Psalm 119:15-16 - I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. [16] I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

Psalm 119:97 - O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

To meditate is to think upon or dwell upon something.  You already meditate on a lot of topics including your job, your family, your problems and your daydreams.

In order to effectively meditate on God's Word I believe we need to memorize it. That will take effort. And don't say you can't memorize!

You can memorize at least one verse a month, and probably one a week or more. And you will need to review your verses.   I place my verses on 3x5 cards.  

Joshua 1:8 gives us the purpose for meditation on God's Word. that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein:

The whole purpose of meditating on God's Word is so that we will be obedient.

Psalm 119:11 - Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

And what is the result of obedience to God's Word?    

Joshua 1:8 - This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

True prosperity and success are the results.

REALITY - THE JOB IS MINE, Vss, 1-2

REASSURANCE - GOD IS WITH ME Vss. 3-5

RESPONSIBILITY - DO AS GOD SAYS Vss. 6-9

We are to be strong and courageous.

BE STRONG BECAUSE OF GOD'S PROMISE

BE STRONG BECAUSE OF GOD'S PRECEPTS.

BE STRONG BECAUSE OF GOD'S PRESENCE

We become strong as we meditate in the Word of God.

 

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PROVERBS 16:1-9 – PERFECT BALANCE

WHAT DO THESE SAYINGS MEAN TO YOU?

  • Man proposes, God disposes.
  • God provides, man decides.
  • God is sovereign, man is responsible.

I believe that Proverbs 16:1-9 shows us the perfect balance God has ordained between God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility.

PLANS – Proverbs 16:1-3

1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

PURPOSE – Proverbs 16:4-5

4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

PROVISION – Proverbs 16:6-7

6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
7 When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

PRINCIPLE - Proverbs 16:8

8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.

PREEMINENCE - Proverbs 16:9

9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

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MATTHEW 14:1-12 – SOAP OPERA

The arrest of John the Baptist and the events that follow have all the qualities of a soap opera.

FAULTY INSIGHT – Vss. 1-2

Herod thought that Jesus was John the Baptist risen from the dead.  John had been beheaded by Herod.

FRIVOLOUS INCARCERATION – Vss. 3-5

John was put in jail simply because he had said that Herod should not have married his brother’s wife.

Herod put John in prison to appease her.

FIENDISH INTRIGUE – Vss. 6-8

His wife’s daughter danced an exotic dance.  He promised her up to half of his kingdom.  She asked for John’s head.

FATAL INCISION – Vss. 9-11

John was beheaded.

ORWARDED INFORMATION – Vs. 12

Jesus was notified.

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MARK 6:30-34 – TIME OUT!

LIFE OF CHRIST #27

After Jairus’ daughter was healed, Jesus evidently made a second visit to his hometown of Nazareth and was again rejected because of the unbelief of the people there.

He also sent the 12 disciples out in pairs on a preaching tour. And around this time, Jesus was informed that King Herod had executed John the Baptist.

The disciples returned to Jesus after their preaching tour.  It is at this time that we see Jesus taking his men on a “time out” that turned out not to be very long at all.

There are lessons to be learned here. We can sum up the lessons using four words beginning with the letter “C”.

COMMUNICATION – REPORT TO THE LORD

Vs. 30 – This is the only place in the Gospel of Mark that the twelve are called “apostles”.  Usually, they are disciples in Jesus’ presence. They are learners, trainees, students.

Here they are called apostles because the term means “one sent”, a messenger. Indeed, in this context, that’s exactly what they were for a brief time. Later, in the Book of Acts, they were more frequently called Apostles, because of Jesus’ orders for them to go into the world to preach the Gospel.

I see a simple lesson here.  Our first responsibility as born again Christians is to be Christ’s disciples.  A disciple is a learner. Matthew 11:28-30

Note the words, and learn of me.  These are key words. We need to learn from our Master. John 12:266,  

To serve the Lord Jesus we must follow Him.  When we follow the Lord Jesus we will learn from Him. When we learn from Him, we will be like Him. Matthew 10:25a

Our first responsibility as born again Christians is to be disciples. The second responsibility of born again Christians is to be apostles.  We are not the original apostles who had seen the risen Savior. But we are ones sent. We are messengers.  The great commission was not just for the 12 but for each of us who name the name of Christ. Mark 16:15, Romans 10:13-15  

 Think of yourself as an apostle.  One sent with the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ and what He’s done for you.   

Vs. 30 – As we said, the Apostles had been sent out in preaching pairs. Now they have returned. And they reported to their Master. They reported what they had done and what they had taught.    

When you have a Master, you are accountable.  You must report in. We will all make a final report to the Lord Jesus. Romans 14:12, 1 Corinthians 4:5

Do you want to have a good final report when you stand before your Master?

Then do what the Apostles did.  They reported when they came into their Master’s presence.

When the disciples reported in they were subjecting their words and their deeds to Jesus’ approval or disapproval. They could have commended and encouraged, but they also could have been rebuked and corrected.  

I have been encouraged to start reporting in each day, either in the morning or the evening.  When I review my day with the Lord, and tell him what I’ve said and what I’ve done, he can correct me and encourage me.  I can confess my sins and ask for His help.

It really doesn’t matter if my words or my deeds please you.  What matters is that they please Him. So I should subject them to His approval!

COUNSEL – REST WHEN NECESSARY – Vs. 31

Vs. 31 – There is a barrage of activity and noise around us.

Every one of us seems to have a very busy schedule whether we are in school, working or retired.  There is a never ending stream of business.

And there is a never ending stream of noise.

Remember that Jesus promises in Matthew 11:28, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Peace and rest are found in the Lord Jesus, so we need to come apart and rest!  I think of three basic times when we need to come apart and rest in the Lord Jesus.   

  • First we need to come apart and rest when we feel overwhelmed.  When we find ourselves so busy that we don’t have time to even eat or drink properly, it’s time to rest physically.  It’s also time to rest spiritually.
  • Second we need to come apart and rest on a weekly basis. 

The Sunday School hour, the Morning Worship Service, the Evening Service on Sunday are all times for you to “come apart and rest awhile”.  Your rest is found in worship, in prayer, in learning as a disciple, in having your Spiritual batteries recharged.  If you will let them, all three of these services will help give you the Spiritual rest that you need.

  • Third, we need to come apart and rest awhile on a daily basis.  We need to hear Jesus’ voice of comfort and correction every day.  I suggest that you set aside at least a half hour and better yet an hour for time of Spiritual rest. Is Jesus worth 1/48th of your day? That’s a half hour.  Is Jesus worth 1/24th of your day? That’s an hour.

What should you do in these times of Spiritual refreshment?  I suggest you read a chapter in the New Testament, and, a chapter in Psalms or Proverbs. After that you may want to branch out to other Old Testament books.

Then I suggest a time of prayer. Worship God and bring your requests before Him.  You could use the Lord’s Prayer as your pattern.

COMPASSION – REALIZE THE NEED – Vss. 32-34A

Vss. 32-33 – So they went away privately, but to no

                     avail.  It was like living in a small town.

                     Everybody knows your business!

As they sailed across the lake about four miles, the crowd went around the lake about ten miles and gathered people from the villages they went through.  So, when Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake, there was an enormous crowd.

What about the needed rest?  I think that there might have been a headwind which made progress slow. I believe that’s how the people could get around the lake to meet Him.  Those few hours in the boat, I feel, were therapeutic for the Lord and the disciples.

Vs. 34a – When Jesus saw the great crowd, he was not moved with anger as you might think.  That’s how we’d probably react.  “Why we can’t get even few days of peace!”

Jesus was moved with compassion.

Jesus saw people!

He saw hurting people.

He saw spiritually hungry people.

He saw spiritually dead people.

He saw sick people.

We would have seen the interruption. Jesus saw the need!

He was moved with compassion towards them.

He cared about their physical and spiritual wellbeing.

He saw them as sheep without a shepherd.

Sheep need someone to lead them, to guide them to feed and water them, to protect them. John 10:11, John 10:27-28

Jesus is the good shepherd who has compassion on the sheep.   

As his disciples, we need to open our eyes and see the needs around us.  We need to have compassion as our Lord has compassion.

Any time you see a person acting like a sheep without a shepherd; it is time to have compassion!

CONDUCT – RESPOND TO THE NEED – Vs. 34B

Vs. 34b – Action should always follow compassion.

Jesus responded to the need by teaching them many things.

He taught them at length.

What should we do when we start to have compassion on those who are in need?

We should teach them!

And right away, some of you will say, “I can’t do that.”

You can do that if you allow Jesus to empower you!

  • We can teach them by showing that we care about them.
  • We can teach them by living a life of trust ourselves.
  • We can teach them by listening attentively to them.
  • We can teach them by sharing our own hurts and how God has gotten us through them.
  • We can teach them by sharing our own personal testimony.
  • We can teach them by showing them the plan of salvation.
  • We can teach them by sharing what God has to say in his word.

We need to take our time outs daily.

The more we are in the habit of taking time outs, the more equipped we will be to help a hurting world.

COMMUNICATION – REPORT TO THE LORD

COUNSEL – REST WHEN NECESSARY – Vs. 31

COMPASSION – REALIZE THE NEED – Vss. 32-34A

CONDUCT – RESPOND TO THE NEED – Vs. 34B

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ROMANS 13:1-7 – THE CHRISTIAN AND GOVERNMENT

In the Bible we find that God has established 3 institutions to govern the affairs of men.

There is the family. Genesis 2:18-25

There is the church. Matthew 16:18, Acts 2

There is government. Romans 13:1-7

In this passage we do find that the Christian does have a responsibility to government.

THE ORIGINATOR OF GOVERNMENT IS GOD. Vss. 1-2

GOD'S PURPOSE FOR GOVERNMENT IS FOR OUR GOOD. Vss. 3-4

OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO GOVERNMENT IS TO OBEY. Vss. 5-7

This includes the payment of taxes.

Notes: You will want to discuss when it is proper to disobey government. See Acts 4:18-20

           You might want to mention some of the Godly Bible characters involved in

           government.

           Those involved in government include Joseph, David, Nehemiah and Daniel.

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1 CORINTHIANS 4:2 – MAKING LIFE COUNT

"Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful."

"And it's long fly ball to deep left field, and that ball is going...going...going foul! That ball went over 400 feet, but doesn't count."

Some people seem to hit the ball a long way in the game called life. It appears that they have accomplished much in the way of earning money, becoming famous or doing good works. However, if they haven't pleased God in this life, it is like hitting a foul ball. What they did just doesn't count.

In Colorado, where the most tragic public school shooting took place, two young men became famous, but most of us would not think that their lives counted for God.  On the other hand, one of their victims was asked if she believed in God. She said, "Yes", and she was killed. We have a tendency to feel that her life did count for God.

We are reminded in 1 Corinthians 4:2 of the most important ingredient in making one's life count.

That ingredient is faithfulness.  A steward was a household servant in charge of his master's worldly goods.  He was responsible for the success of the household.  A good steward was a faithful steward who took good care of what his master owned. As servants of Christ and stewards of God's mysteries (1 Corinthians 4:1) we are responsible to be faithful if our lives are going to count for Him.  Here are some areas in which we need to be faithful.

FAITHFUL IN CONVERSION - John 1:1-7, John 3:16-18 - If a person has not experienced the second birth, he has not been faithful in being converted. His life has not been turned around because of trust in Christ as Savior.  Every person whose life counts, comes to Christ for salvation.

FAITHFUL IN COMMITMENT - Romans 12:1, Matthew 22:34-40 - A person who has trusted Christ as Savior is to be committed to Him in every way.  To me, the first step of commitment to Christ is believer's baptism (Matthew 28:19-20)

FAITHFUL IN CHOICE - Romans 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 6:14 - A Christian will make many choices in his lifetime.  Probably the two most important choices concern career and marriage.  In both cases, the Christian needs to be faithful to God in these choices. He or she should do with His life whatever God wants him to do. He or she should only marry a Christian.

FAITHFUL IN CONDUCT - Colossians 3:17 - All that we do should be approved by the Lord Jesus.  If we can't do it in His name, we shouldn't do it!

FAITHFUL IN COMMUNICATION - 1 Peter 3:15 - We should be ready to witness for Christ at all times.

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