2006

November 26, 2006

INTRODUCTION – The need for power to be released in the lives of our family members, neighbors, co-workers, and fellow students who are mired in addictions to food, alcohol, sex, drugs; others are in bondage to hatred, anger, resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness; and many if not all of these people are estranged and separated from God and in desperate need of His saving grace.

Charlie Christian over the years he worked at so and so company observed one of his co-workers slowly but surely sinking in the destructiveness of sin. His marriage was breaking apart; his kids were failing in school and trying to soothe their pain with alcohol and drugs; and Charlie knew he alone had the answer to his co-workers problem. But somehow week after week went by without Charlie ever taking the time and the risk to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to this needy man. He knew God wanted him to do it. He wanted to do it. But busyness, excuses, fear of rejection, etc., seemed to overrule every time Charlie started to make a move. Continue reading What Jesus Will Do Matt. 3:11,12

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July 02, 06

INTRODUCTION – In our pursuit of the King and His kingdom, which is our theme for this year, we decided to study the book of Matthew – because Matthew more than the other gospel writers emphasizes Jesus as King and and His kingdom. We first looked at the lineage of Jesus Christ; and then specifically we studied the parents God the Father sovereignly chose to parent and steward – the long awaited Messiah and Savior of the world. We also looked at the role angels played in the drama of the early days of our Lord’s life here on earth.

Today we are going to look at the man God chose to prepare the way for His precious Son. We know from the other gospels that this man – John the Baptist or John the Baptizer as some refer to him – was the cousin of Jesus – and was in his mother Elizabeth’s womb at the same time Jesus Christ was in his mother – Mary’s womb. Thus we know – they were very close to the same age, and seemed to have started their ministries at close to the same time – John perhaps a year or two before Jesus.

Luke in his gospel tells us that an angel spoke to John’s father Zechariah in great detail as to what kind of man this son of his would become. We learn a lot of things from Luke’s gospel actually, that Matthew chooses not to tell us. For instance we learn: Continue reading John the Baptist & our Witness Matthew 3:1-17

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INTRODUCTION – Read Matt. 2:13-23

I. A word about Angels
A. One of their ministries to us is to help us in our decision making when there are things endangering us that we are oblivious to and there is no way we could know what is coming down the road or around the corner. Four times in the first two chapters Joseph receives direction through dreams via angels. 1:20 “behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream;” 2:13 “behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream…”; 2:19 “behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph..” 2:22 “and being warned in a dream..”

Now these four messages occurred over a couple of years, so do not hear me saying you should be receiving messages from angels on a daily basis. But I do believe the more you and I are engaged in the ministry of the gospel, the more we will experience the ministry of angels. Continue reading Angels, Joseph & Mary, Fulfilled Prophecy, King Herod & Families – Matt. 2:13-23

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March 26, 2006
INTRODUCTION – While I am not an expert by any means in reaching the lost for Christ, I have been involved in that work to some extent for over 30 years. Not only have I been personally involved in this work, but I have read as much as I could about others’ experiences reaching the lost, or coming to faith in Christ. Two conclusions I have come to over these years can be seen in a very familiar story in the Bible that most of us know, but perhaps – we have not seen all that God wants us to see. So if you would – please turn in your bible to Matthew chapter 2. As we look at the first 12 verses of this chapter, I want to focus on two principles regarding evangelism that are crucial for us to understand and believe – if we are going to be increasingly meaningfully and effectively involved in this great work. Continue reading Believing God for His Work Among the Lost – Matthew 2:1-12

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March 5, 2006

INTRODUCTION – Last week I shared three things we need to put in place – if we want to be used by God and chosen for God sized tasks like Joseph was…
Read Matt. 1:18-23
Review 3 points

I. We need to be a whole lot slower in responding to or sizing up the circumstances of life. We often draw wrong conclusions based on what we can see with our natural eyes. As far as Joseph could tell, his wife had been unfaithful to him and while he could drag her to the elders and possibly get her stoned (not the marijuana kind), instead he chose to quietly divorce her, which seemed noble to him and to others, but still was not the action God had in mind.

God help us not waste so much emotional energy in 2006 reacting to things that end up not being what they seemed. He will if we cry out to Him and learn to live in a greater sense of dependency upon His divine interventions in our lives. Continue reading Obedience and Usefulness – Matthew 1:24, 25

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Feb. 12, 2006

INTRODUCTION – As I have grappled over the last two months for proper perspective about our ministry and focus as a church for this new year, I have found myself several times pulling out the prophetic word that the Holy Spirit gave Dutch Sheets on January 5th. There are 16 points in this 3 page word. Most of you have read it. I don’t want to take the time to read it now. But one thing is clear from this word: The year 2006 will be a pivotal year for the mobilizing of the army of God to fulfill His purposes on the earth.

God’s heart and intent is that every member of every congregation be an effective, productive and fruitful soldier in this army. To help mobilize or equip us for that – He has given us His precious word that is full of both precept and example.

This morning I want us to meditate on one of those examples as found in Matt. 1:18-25. This is the story of how God prepared Joseph to be the earthly father or caretaker of His precious Son – the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as God the Father looked down on this earth to find a man that He could entrust the stewarding and shepherding of His Son to; I believe He is looking down now to find men and women and young people that He can entrust the proclamation of His Son to. As I have meditated on this passage, I’ve found four principles that are crucial for us to be the kind of people that God can entrust such a treasure to. Continue reading How God Prepares and Shapes a Man to Steward the Treasure of His Son – Matt. 1:18-25

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Feb. 12, 2006

INTRODUCTION – Last Sunday we began our series in the gospel of Matthew. My sense is that this gospel is to be our launching pad in this new year for exploring our theme of “Pursuing the King and His Kingdom”. As I have been wrestling with the latter half of chapter one this week and thinking through the book and our pursuit as a whole, it seems prudent to me that we be willing at times to stop and strengthen our foundation when we come across a subject in this gospel that might not be as strong and vibrant in our life together as it ought to be.

Instead of expounding this passage today, I want to strengthen our foundation in one of the subjects it introduces to us – and that subject is the subject of angels. The word “angel”appears six times in Matthew; the word “angels” 13 times. If you wanted to study angels in the gospels, Matthew or Luke would be the books to study (Luke has a few more references than Matthew). Mark and John hardly have any comparatively speaking.
If you wanted to study angels in the whole Bible you would find around 300 references to angels scattered across 34 books; 165 of those in the New Testament.

Because in the month of December I spent a lot of time studying the events surrounding the birth of Christ, I kept encountering the mention of angels. About that same time, one night I did something that I rarely do – I read one of Anne’s emails from the Elijah List that gave a review of the book “Open My Eyes Lord” – a practical guide to angelic visitations and heavenly experiences by Gary Oates with Robert Paul Lamb. While I wasn’t familiar with those authors, I was struck by the many endorsements of people I respect, and intrigued by the excerpts from the book in this review. Then I did something more rare than reading an email from the Elijah list – I got on the phone and ordered the book! Continue reading Angels & the Kingdom of God – Matthew 1:18-25

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February 5, 2006

INTRODUCTION – The apostle Paul in his writings spoke very emphatically about the relevance of every word in this book.
For instance in Romans 15:4 he said, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
In his second letter to Timothy – ch. 3:16 he wrote, “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;”

Nowhere is this claim to the relevance and inspiration of every word in this book tested more than when – in your bible reading – you come across a genealogy. The temptation often for most of us (if we’re honest) is to skim through if not totally skip genealogies to get to the passages that mean something. Continue reading The Genealogy of Jesus Christ the King – Matthew 1:1-17

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