September 2007

September 23, 2007

INTRODUCTION – Suppose a certain father in Los Osos has two sons and two daughters. One of the sons and one of the daughters have determined that they do not need a father to tell them what they can do, and cannot do, nor do they need the hassle of having to share bedrooms, bathrooms and possessions with siblings. So as soon as they were able – the son at age 17, the daughter at age 18 – they flew the coop, and moved out with people they enjoyed hanging out with. This was very grievous to the father; but there was little he could do about it.

His other two children – a 19 year old son and a 15 year old daughter – loved their father, loved their family, and couldn’t understand why their brother and sister would not feel the same. Every Friday night when the father made reservations at the local steakhouse for dinner for his family – his 19 yr. old son and 15 yr. old daughter sat on the front porch waiting for their dad to come out and throw them all in the family van. Every Saturday morning, when the Father finished up his project list, the 19 yr. old son & 15 yr. old daughter were there waiting for their instructions.

Now the father loved his four children equally. He parented each of them with the same principles and values. And he longed to enjoy their fellowship equally. But which children do you think were actually able to experience the warmth of his fellowship and love? Continue reading Producing Peacemakers II – Matt. 5:9

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September 16, 2007

INTRODUCTION – Everything negative and destructive in our society can be traced back to a lack of the knowledge of God. It is the lack of a true knowledge of the one true God that is at the root of every societal ill we face today.

If there is any aspect or attribute of God that we need to know in our day in this town, in this region, in this state, in this fractured nation, and indeed in our world it is that God is a God of peace. Five times in the New Testament He is proclaimed as the God of peace, such as in Rom. 15:33, where the apostle Paul encourages the church in Rome with this blessing, “Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.” Jesus Christ is referred to in scripture as the Prince of Peace and as the Lord of Peace.

When in chapter 14 of the book of Romans, Paul describes what the kingdom of God is like – when and wherever it is manifested on the earth, that is – whenever and wherever His kingship and Lordship is recognized and submitted to – he states that it will be characterized by righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Continue reading Producing Peacemakers – Matt. 5:9

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9/8/07
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

INTRODUCTION – Last week we began our discussion of this verse by first of all admitting that most of us are greatly sobered by just reading it. Then I read a couple of quotes from two of my favorite commentators on the Sermon on the Mount, both of whom admitted they too felt this emotion upon first glance at this kingdom principle.

We then spent the rest of our time talking about two things. First, how desperate our need is to see God. And second, what happens when we do see God – – noting that nothing we will ever see or experience in this life will impact us like seeing God does.

Perhaps one of the loudest megaphone messages we get from the scriptures is that much of our pain, torment, fear, anger, bitterness, confusion, and paralysis of faith comes from the lack or neglect of seeing God. One of these days I am going to do a search with my concordance of how many times God rebukes His people for not seeing or hearing Him when He came or spoke. One of those is found in Isa. 50:2 where God says to His complaining, blaming, and thus downtrodden people, “Why was there no man when I came? When I called why was there none to answer?” Continue reading Seeing God – Part II – Matthew 5:8

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