Sermons

INTRODUCTION – The author of www.evilbible.com says this re: the Bible and the scourge of slavery: “Except for murder, slavery has got to be one of the most immoral things a person can do. Yet slavery is rampant throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. The Bible clearly approves of slavery in many passages, and it goes so far as to tell how to obtain slaves, how hard you can beat them, and when you can have sex with the female slaves.”

Psalm 145:8,9 says this about the God of the Old and New testaments – the same God who wrote the Old and New testaments through the minds and pens of men: “The Lord is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. The Lord is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works.” Later in vs. 17 it says, “The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds.”

So who should we believe? Well one of the passages evilbible.com uses to make its argument just so happens to be the one we are going to look at today in our ongoing series through I Timothy. So please turn in your Bibles if you will to I Timothy 6:1,2 Continue reading Slavery & The Kingdom of God – I Tim. 6:1,2

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INTRODUCTION – This morning I hope to help broaden and strengthen your perspective on how life works, & how the kingdom of God intersects this fallen world; because that is what I believe Solomon – the preacher – is after in chapter 10, if not in this whole book called Ecclesiastes. Even back then, I think Solomon knew that people could place their faith in God to escape hell and judgment and to find much needed forgiveness for sins, but never really learn how to live like God meant for us to live.

You see perspective pretty much more than anything else determines whether we thrive or just survive. Perspective determines whether we see the glass half full or almost empty. Perspective – that is wise and godly perspective – shields us from the onslaught of lies that constantly come our way from the father of lies, and from this corrupt world system that is well oiled and crafted by the father of lies, and from our own sinful flesh. Continue reading Truths for Thriving – – Ecclesiastes 10:1-20

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INTRODUCTION – Ecclesiastes is a great book for those of us who tend to be too black and white, too anal, too uptight, too dependent on formulas, or just too unlike Christ!

I want to confess that it is not the easiest book to understand, much less apply or heed. Parts of Chapter 8 are especially challenging. One of the things that helped me this week was my reading on Wednesday in Thomas a Kempis’s “Imitation of Christ” re: the study of scripture and how to handle difficult to understand portions. Here’s what he said,
“Our curiosity proves a hindrance to us, for while reading the Scriptures we sometimes want to stop to debate and discuss, when we should simply read on. If you wish to derive profit from your reading of Scripture, do it with humility, simplicity and faith; “ Continue reading Overcoming sternness with Wisdom – Eccl. 8:1

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June 17, 2018
INTRODUCTION – As we jump into Ecclesiastes ch. 4 today, I want to direct my thoughts primarily to the working folk among us, because that is what most of this chapter is about.

Thinking back to Genesis ch. 2 if you would for a moment, soon after God created Adam and Eve , He set them to work in this beautiful and most likely quite expansive garden in a place called Eden.
The living God is a God who loves to work. He never dreams of retiring. He enjoys and takes great delight in working and creating and accomplishing and healing and redeeming things on the earth. And part of being created in His image is having a mind and capacity to not only work, but to enjoy it. Continue reading Four Maxims for the Marketplace – Ecclesiastes 4

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INTRODUCTION – I was grieved this last week to hear from a dear friend of yet another local congregation (not anywhere near here) being torn apart because of ungodliness and worldliness among the elder board or elder team.

Another friend wrote me this last week telling me of his grief in learning that a good friend of his had quit walking with the Lord.

God’s will and full intention is that the elders of His church – wherever in the world a corporate expression of Christ’s church finds itself – thrive in the carrying out of their ministry, and that they end their race strong and well, and that Christ’s church is safe and secure under their leadership and care as a result.

God’s will and full intention for every believer in His church is that they also thrive in the fulfillment of their calling, that they experience the fullness of Christ and the Holy Spirit in ever greater measure, and that they end their race strong and well. Continue reading How to Thrive and End Well in Christ – – I Peter 5:1-14

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Rom. 8:32 – Before I started my sermon, I expounded the thought that if the living holy and sinless God was willing to deliver His Son over to all the evil and suffering and finally taking our sin upon Himself that He did, then how much more will He give us spiritual gifts!?

INTRODUCTION – – Most of you know that a few months before my 20th birthday I rather abruptly moved from Knoxville, TN to San Jose, CA – desperate for change and breakthrough in my personal and spiritual life and journey with Christ. That first year in San Jose I devoured the Bible like never before; and then I believe in my second year met my wife – Anne, who through similar life circumstances and desperation for change was also becoming a beaver for the Bible. The combination of our daily quiet times and scripture memory, involvement in small group Bible studies, and attending a very strong Bible teaching church brought a much needed stability to our lives. Continue reading Our Journey Out of I Corinthians ch. 14

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This last Sunday my wife shared some thoughts before I preached – – both of us commenting on aspects of I Corinthians 14. Below is the gist of what she shared. Mine will follow.

Last week as Joshua preached on 1 Corinthians 14 he ended briefly addressing verses 34 and 35 “Let the women keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak but let them subject themselves, just as the Law also says. And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.” And I thought, I would like to say something about that, because if you are anything like me, initially it seems that this is restrictive and unequal. Continue reading Women & the Washing of the Word

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INTRODUCTION – In our ongoing series of sermons through the 16 chapter book of I Corinthians, we come this morning to the 13th chapter, affectionately known by many as “the love chapter”. Even some unbelievers, who know little of the treasures of the Bible, know this chapter exists because of usually having heard it spoken of at a wedding. I myself have chosen to speak from this chapter at some of the weddings I have done. Though I want to say this morning, its intended purpose was not for marriages as much as it was for congregations.

Because the 66 books of the Bible were written as whole units with great strategic purpose, every placement of a chapter or verse in a given book is strategic and intentionally placed. So that begs the question, Why did Paul choose to deal with the subject of loving one another after chapter 12 and before chapter 14, both of which deal specifically with the subject of the spiritual gifts that Jesus – the Head has given to His body? Continue reading The Primacy or Supremacy of Love – I Corinthians 13

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INTRODUCTION – One of the books I’m reading right now is the 2nd book written by Rosario Butterfield, entitled “Openness Unhindered.” Rosario became a Lesbian in her early college days, and then as she went on for her PhD and then into a very influential tenured teaching post at Syracuse University – she became a widely known and very vocal lesbian activist and apologist. Her first book is entitled “The Secret Thoughts of an unlikely convert”, and a highly unlikely convert she was. So unlikely that most believers who knew her or knew of her didn’t even try to help her come to know Jesus Christ. Most, if they dealt with her at all, sent her condemning letters of the judgment that awaited her – especially after she dared trash the Promise keepers movement in one of her columns in the late 90’s. Continue reading Freeing Up the Fragrance – – I Corinthians 9

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July 16, 2017
INTRODUCTION – As we have been walking together through the pages of the apostle Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth, we have noted several times that the social context into which this church was planted was one of extreme sexual immorality, and thus significant relational damage. Sexual immorality always results in emotional and relational damage to all involved – whether in first century Corinth or in 21st Century Central Coast of CA communities.

Josh dealt with this when he preached on chapter 5. Elizabeth dealt with it last week in chapter six. And we are going to deal with it again today in chapter 7.

The good news of the kingdom of God – this wonderful supernatural realm that the risen Christ rules and that we all have begun to operate in and experience – is that there is a far superior way of living life and handling our sexual passions and needs, and walking out the marriage covenant with our spouse than that which the world system offers. Continue reading Marriage, Oneness & Sex – – I Cor. 7:1- 5

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June 18, 2017
My mother’s phone call – my files – Dave Barry on Fatherhood

Prayer for Holy Spirit power and revelation

INTRODUCTION – One of the disciplines the Holy Spirit led me to practice many years ago is daily praying through a portion of our church directory . So for instance this morning I prayed for all of our individuals or families whose last name starts with T-Z.

And one of the many things I pray for each of you every week is that you will grow in the joy of being a co laborer for the harvest with Jesus. One of the things Jesus promises to do in and through the life of every person who is born again by the Spirit of God is to make them what He calls a “fisher of men (or women)”. Continue reading Faith in The Power of God – I Cor. 2:1-5

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May 14, 2017

INTRODUCTION – Lucille Ball – one of the great female comediennes of my early years on this planet, and of all time really – said of wisdom, “In life, all good things come hard, but wisdom is the hardest to come by.”

One of the primary reasons true wisdom is so hard to come by is because Satan – the father of lies and the god of this world – has created a world system of belief and thought patterns and attitudes that operates on a false or corrupted sense of wisdom – a socially acceptable wisdom if you will. And he (that is Satan) has succeeded in getting most of our cultural influencers to embrace this worldly wisdom. The apostle James, who was never one to mince words, refers to this wisdom or way of seeing and doing life as earthy, natural and demonic in chapter 3 of his epistle as contrasted with divine or heavenly wisdom. (We will look at that passage later on) Continue reading The wisdom of God vs. the wisdom of man – I Cor. 1:10-25

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INTRODUCTION – Around the end of April of 2015 – our son Joshua called Anne and I and asked if he could come over and sit down with us. That conversation started the ball rolling that eventually (after many hours of meetings with our elders) led us to install Joshua as lead pastor as of June 1st of 2015, and then send Anne and I off on a three month sabbatical for those summer months to get rested up and re – envisioned for the years ahead.

When I jumped back in the saddle in early September of that year – our elders began to process together over many hours the changes that the Holy Spirit — primarily through Joshua was wanting to bring about.
One of the questions we wrestled with in some of those meetings (and I believe Steve Sharp joined us in some of those discussions) was what tag line or motto would best characterize who we are becoming, and what we are most pursuing as a people. Our eventual choice was: “People encountering Jesus.” We knew there were safer more acceptable words to use rather than “encounter” – but we all eventually concluded this was the word that best summed up what God wanted us to pursue, and what God wanted us to expect of Him. Continue reading Encountering God – Only One Thing is Necessary

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March 24, 2013
INTRODUCTION – What the book of Acts is about, and why we are going through it.

The reality and expectation that as we continue to follow Jesus we will increasingly be His instrument for His ongoing healing ministry and other miracles.

And as this happens we will receive opportunities to explain what is behind the miracles.

Last week we looked at the miracle healing of the lame man in Acts chapter 3: vs. 1-10. Today we are going to look at the message that Peter got to preach or proclaim as a result of that miracle of healing. Let’s read it together starting with vs. 11 Continue reading Miracle Messaging – Acts 3:11-26

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An address I gave last night (9/25/16) at the Opening Rally for 40 Days for Life in San Luis Obispo.

INTRODUCTION – One of the most fruit producing, justice establishing, church purifying, darkness piercing and life preserving ministries or movements on the planet today in my opinion is the “40 days for Life” campaign – – – especially when the said campaign is carried out by united, loving, humble, God dependent, Christ centered, Spirit led and Spirit empowered – women, men, young people and children.

My objective tonight is to share a few foundational truths that will enable you and I to be that kind of people as we begin together on Wednesday – the 40 days for life campaign in San Luis Obispo in front of Planned Parenthood on Pismo Street. Continue reading Preparing to Remove Mountains

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March 17, 2013

INTRODUCTION – We have been recently exposed to the raised standard of financial health and prosperity via the Dave Ramsey Course – specifically:
1. Absolutely no debt;
2. Savings acc;t of at least 3 mos. Of one’s salary;
3. Diverse investments for retirement;
4. A lifestyle of liberal giving.

The feeling for some of us older folk is that we are so far off the standard/mark – – because of starting too late – – why try?! Every time we start making some traction, a car blows up or someone lands in the hospital with huge medical bills, or …….

Many times we believers feel the same when we read accounts of powerful ways God has worked through his people in days of old – like the one we are going to read today. Continue reading Raising the Standard for Healing the Sick – Acts 3:1-10

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June 19,2005
INTRODUCTION – Rom 15:4 “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.”

My readings in Proverbs
Prov. 8:33 “Heed instruction and be wise and do not neglect it.”

Take a look at some of the first fathers on the planet. Far from perfect – all of them. But they all had strengths. They all did something right somewhere along the way.
Six lessons from six men whose example God wants us to learn from. Continue reading Learning from the Successes or Strengths of Fathers in the Old Testament

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INTRODUCTION –
Read Col. 3:21
I. The Negative Command: – Do not exasperate your children

A. Definition – “to excite or inflame the anger of; to cause irritation or annoyance to; syn = irritate” Lightfoot translates it “show no bitterness, behave not harshly.”

B. Ways that we exasperate:
1. neglect through work and/or play (golf, fishing, watching sports on t.v., watching movies) Continue reading Fathers – Encouragers, Not Exasperaters!

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February 24, 2013
INTRODUCTION – In Acts ch. 2 vs. 1 and following – we find that the united fervent persistent prayers of God’s people led to God pouring out His Spirit with signs and wonders, which led to a bewildered and curious crowd…. with some critics and naysayers among them, which led to a wonderful opportunity for Peter to explain what was behind those signs and wonders.

Today – – we probably won’t experience an outpouring quite like this because of all the unique elements of Jewish society and culture that colored that outpouring. But as we interact with the lost, and as we get better at looking for signs of God’s working, I believe we will find that the people we are reaching out to have had dreams or visions, have expereinced unusual protection from disaster (neighbor’s bike ride), healings, unusual provisions, or even may be expressing their desperate need for a miracle etc., and thus we will find an open door for our witness. Continue reading Making the Most of Opportunities Acts 2:14-36

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2/17/13
INTRODUCTION – Importance of faith and expectation – –
Heb. 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

The risen, but not yet ascended Lord of Lords and King of kings – Jesus Christ had promised His disciples that if they would gather in Jerusalem and seek Him and wait upon Him in prayer together – they would receive power from on high. Listen to Luke’s account of this from Acts 1:4,5, “Gathering them together, he commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Later in vs. 8 Jesus further defines for them what they can expect when the Holy Spirit falls on them, “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you….”

It was not an experience, but the power of God that was promised, and thus it is the power of God that should be sought. But when the power of God via the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples in the early church, there was always a visible manifestation of that; there were always some visible experiences of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power. Continue reading Is There More?? Further Reflections on Acts 2:1-13

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January 27, 2013
INTRODUCTION – The kingdom of God invading the kingdom of darkness as chronicled in the gospels

On becoming a visible demonstration of the good news of the kingdom of God – – what it looks like or how it manifests in a people

40 days with disciples after resurrection

40 years with His church in America – – starting to get it – – George Ladd’s books on the kingdom; Dennis Peacocke began his itinerant ministry in earnest around the kingdom of God;

3 areas the Holy Spirit wants to help us grow in this year so we can see His kingdom come and His will be done. Continue reading Sharpening our Focus for 2013 Acts 1:9-26

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January 13, 2013
INTRODUCTION – – Last time we looked at this passage – we looked at it from Jesus – the Head’s perspective – – that is – – we focused on His ability to pull off His purposes through His church as its Captain of the Army/Head of the Church/Commander in Chief. Specifically we focused on five truths about His work in the present: 1. Jesus is still revealing Himself – still giving orders to His disciples, and still calling the shots for His church (vs. 1-3); 2. Jesus is still gathering His people (vs. 4). 3. Jesus is still revealing and clarifying and expanding and spotlighting His kingdom to His church and to society at large (vs. 3, 6,7). 4. Jesus is still clarifying and strengthening our calling as His witnesses to the ends of the earth (vs. 6-8). 5. The Holy Spirit is greater than all of our weaknesses, distractions, obstacles, excuses and enemies (vs. 8).

This morning I want to address our response to who He is and what He is doing. Specifically I want to address three responses we must have to all that He is doing if we are going to be participants and not spectators to His glorious work on the earth before He returns. He IS going to fulfill His purposes. The question is: Are we going to be in the thick of what He is doing? Or are we going to be on the sidelines. None of us need to be on the sidelines. To make sure we are not,
I want to share 3 very practical ways you and I can be in the thick with Jesus in 2013. Continue reading The Way for Witnesses Acts 1:1-8

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INTRO – Lots of tragedy this last week – whether we’re talking about the death of young Jerry Brown – a Dallas Cowboy football player who made the mistake of driving home from a bar with his drunk best friend very early last Sunday morning; an alleged murder due to a suicide pact of one of our own long time residents in Los Osos on Monday night; a senseless shooting in a crowded mall in Portland, Oregon on Tuesday where 3 people were killed including the shooter; and what can we say about the 2nd worst mass shooting in U.S. history that happened Friday morning?

Did you know by the way that there are an average of 6,744 deaths per day in the U.S. ?? Many of those are tragedies as well, but most of us will never know or hear about them.

Combine these tragedies to the ongoing inability of our Government leaders in Washington D.C. to lead us out of this debt crisis; Unpredictable North Korea heightening the dangers of a nuclear war breaking out; Syria and Egypt’s chaos; and all of this happening when our days are getting darker or hours of light decreasing; and our weather in general getting colder and gloomier – – well I would say we are ripe for widespread depression and hopelessness. Continue reading Acts 1:1-8 Jesus – Still in Charge! December 16, 2012

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I. The Author – Who is “I” in (vs. 1)? “The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach,”

A. Six Reasons why we believe it is Dr. Luke

1. The “we” and “us” passages – “When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” 16:10-17; 20:5-21:18; 27:1-28:16
2. Paul’s references to Luke in: Col. 4:14 “Luke, the beloved physician, send you his greetings, and also Demas.”; II Tim. 4:11 “Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service.”; Philemon 23, 24 “…greets you, as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers.” Continue reading Introduction to the Book of Acts II – – December 2, 2012

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I don’t really remember how I found out about the “40 Days for Life” campaign, but I looked back through my pro-life file on my laptop this last week, and discovered that I signed up to receive the emails from Shawn Carney last fall – a year ago – on Sept. 24th. I remember reading them with great interest and I also checked my sent file for that 40 day period a year ago, and it looks like I forwarded them all to our congregation each day – asking them at the beginning of the 40 days to join in this prayer and fasting effort with me.

I never participated in the on site praying at Planned Parenthood and thus didn’t really encourage our congregation to do so either. This “40 days for life” thing was all new to us, but it grew on me with each passing day. Then I got a hold of the book, read it, was thrilled by it. And ordered some copies for our elders and wives and our church library. Continue reading Closing 40 Days for Life Rally Address – 2014 or 2015?

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