Sermons

INTRODUCTION – The apostle Paul, who spent a good portion of his life as a zealous Pharisee – trying to earn his way to heaven, and trying to convince others of his self made righteousness through the law; and trying to destroy anyone who didn’t see spirituality the way he did – – once his eyes were opened to the true way to heaven and the only source of righteousness – said this of Jesus Christ, “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him…” Phil. 3:7-9a

The most consuming passion of Paul’s life became knowing Jesus Christ. That more than anything else is what drove him and centered him. And that more than anything else enabled and motivated Paul to die to any right or entitlement or past accomplishment or potential achievement or financial attainment that might keep him from knowing Christ in all His fullness and glory and majesty. Continue reading Jesus – the Giver of Gifts – – Eph. 4:7 – December 7, 2014

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One of the most wrestled with questions in the church in America in the last 30 years or so is whether we leaders of the church should provide an environment in our Sunday morning services for the charismatic gifts to be expressed or employed.

It seems the primary reason for those who believe these gifts are still given, but who do not believe they should be exercised in our Sunday morning worship services is because it might offend or confuse unbelievers or new believers or non charismatic believers. Many leaders of the church in America, who love the Lord believe this.

I beg to differ and here are my reasons why: Continue reading The Gifts of the Spirit & Sunday Morning Services & the Unity of the Church

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INTRODUCTION – Many people in America today have been attracted to and have nibbled at the fruit or blessings that result from people around them operating in the kingdom of God – – whether that be seeing citizens of the kingdom of God feeding and ministering to the poor; or seeing them care for unwed mothers; or seeing them care for their own families and clans with unusual sacrifice and selflessness; or seeing them do their job at work with excellence and integrity; or seeing them heal the sick; or seeing them love the unlovely or fathering the fatherless.

Most people have seen or at least heard of the fruits and blessings – – the good things that result from people operating in the kingdom of God or living under the rule and reign of the risen Christ – – but very few of these people have seen the kingdom itself, much less entered it. Some of these people attend churches all across America from time to time. They love the good feelings that come from being among a group of loving people. They love the presence of God though they may not know that is what they are feeling and experiencing when they gather with the saints. But few of them have seen and entered the kingdom of God; and all of them are living on borrowed time – as we have seen so grievously in the last two months – with the untimely deaths of a handful of our Los Osos residents. Continue reading The Joy & the Necessity of Being Born Again – – November 16, 2014

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INTRODUCTION – “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matt. 24:14

Gospel = good news. Feel like you are getting a grip on the good news of the kingdom of God? I want to give you a tip…. One of the ways to determine what the good news of the kingdom is (along of course with studying your bible) is discovering the things our culture and society get obsessed with. Because the enemy has always known to some extent what the good news of the kingdom is – – so one of the things he lives to do is corrupt and exploit and pervert the great and wonderful things God offers in the realm and kingdom He governs and rules.

For instance – – our culture and society is obsessed with sex of all kinds, and now has created a new obsession with gender issues. Engagement and participation in all of these things of course never delivers and results in all kinds of heart break and abuse and stds and unwanted and unplanned pregnancies, etc.

Well the good news of the kingdom of God is that sex is a wonderful gift designed and created by God for a man and a woman in the covenant of marriage that serves as a much needed bonding exercise, not to mention the unique and miraculous vehicle of bringing little Jubilees and Thorins and Benjamins into the world! Continue reading The Kingdom of God & Its Gospel – – October 19, 2014

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INTRODUCTION – In a day when there is so much disillusionment about the corruption and selfishness and even narcissim among so many of our leaders in whatever sector of society – – and in a day where many of the younger generation are as selfish and self consumed and addicted to media in all forms as they have ever been – – there is no more healing and healthy and productive thing we can all do than focus our thoughts and efforts and prayers on the kingdom of God in the now!

Jesus Christ said that for those who truly see and begin to experience the kingdom of God in this life – it becomes to them like a precious treasure or costly pearl – – so precious that they will sacrifice anything to obtain or to experience it.

While the kingdom of God is not clearly defined in scripture, it is clearly described and chronicled – both in the life and ministry of Christ, and in the early church. Besides knowing from Matthew 13 that it is of great worth, and that it has the ability to totally consume a man or a woman (in a good way)
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” 13:44
– – we also know from Romans 14:17 that the kingdom of God – – or the present rule and reign and domain of Christ on the earth is characterized by righteousness, peace and joy. “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” Continue reading The Kingdom of God & Brokenness – Matt. 5:3 Sept. 14, 2014

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INTRODUCTION – For the last five Sundays we have been attempting to explain and proclaim and seek first together – the Kingdom of God. We have discovered that while it is a huge theme in the Bible, and while it is the main thing Jesus talked about – both in His earthly ministry before His crucifixion and resurrection; and in those 40 days after His resurrection before His ascension – – many Christians find it to be a very ambiguous and nebulous subject – – certainly not one that keeps them up at night. Even though Jesus clearly spoke in Matthew 13 of the value of the kingdom of God being so great that people who found it were willing to sell everything to obtain and keep it.

This morning I want us to wrestle with the kingdom of God and repentance, for that is how the kingdom of God is introduced to us through both the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.
Matthew – in his gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ – tells us in chapter 4 that Jesus began His ministry soon after His 40 days of fasting and prayer in the wilderness and after He heard about John the Baptist being arrested. Vs. 17 says, “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Continue reading The Kingdom of God & Repentance – – September 7, 2014

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or What does the New Testament teach about Israel & the Church?

INTRODUCTION – For thousands of years Israel and Judah were God’s primary instruments for fulfilling His purposes and making Himself known on the earth. Then a little over 2,000 years ago this wonderful organism or people called the church was born.

Some say that because of Israel’s disobedience to their covenant with God, and because of the birth of the church, Israel is just like any other nation today. God has no unique plans or purposes for them that He doesn’t have for any other nation. In fact they say, the church is the “New Israel”.

Others believe, while the church is obviously God’s primary instrument for accomplishing His purposes on the earth today, He still has plans and purposes for Israel, and the two in scripture are to be seen as two separate entities, though not independent ones. Continue reading Is The Church Today “the New Israel” August 3, 2011

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INTRODUCTION – Our ongoing series on the kingdom of God
This morning – The kingdom of God & children from Matthew 18:1-6
Going to need help – – Nathanael, Rachel, Aidan or Emmanuel come down front
Context – Grown adult male disciples burning question – – how can we know who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven….how can I know if I am? (Read vs. 1)
Greatness in the culture of that day among men – – camel races; rating of fishing businesses in the Jerusalem Times newspaper; getting the greatest amount of fish in the shortest amount of time and quickest to the fish buyers; Pharisees and Scribes always concerned about status and importance in the eyes of others – – had led this way for years…
So they assumed/hoped things would operate similarly in the kingdom of God

Jesus’s response – – show and tell. He asked a small boy to come to Him and sit beside Him in the midst of all these grown men – – a move that would have been totally irrelevant to them and to their burning question. (read vs. 2)
Their burning question wasn’t Jesus’s burning question. Getting in is required before greatness can be considered. Jesus wasn’t ignoring their question. He was just helping them put the cart before the horse. Perhaps they assumed they were automatically in the kingdom of God since Jesus was allowing them to follow Him. Continue reading The Kingdom of God & Children – – Matthew 18:1-6 – – Aug. 31, 14

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INTRODUCTION – 3 weeks ago – we decided to suspend our sermon series through the book of Acts for this primary reason – – as I began to prepare to dive into ch. 14 – – I realized that the kingdom of God was central to everything that the early church was about. It was the primary thing Jesus tried to ground His core disciples in in those 40 days He spent with them before He ascended according to ch. 1 vs. 3. It was the primary message of the apostles and disciples. It was the primary thing the apostle Paul was speaking to folks about and teaching about in his last days in prison according to the last verse in the book of Acts. So for us to get to the end of the book of Acts, and not see and understand, and be excited about the kingdom of God would be a tragedy.

So for however many weeks it takes – we are going to “seek first the kingdom of God” (together) as Jesus commanded us to do in Matt. 6:33.

Three weeks ago we talked about how central the message of the kingdom of God is in the New Testament. Last week we focused our meditations on the King of this wonderful kingdom – Jesus Christ.
Today I want to try to define the kingdom and make it more tangible and understandable. Though in saying that – – I can appreciate what Charles Simpson – one of the great apostolic leaders of the church today – said once about defining the kingdom. He said, “We can only describe the kingdom of God but never define it. The Kingdom, like all of the mysteries of God, is not completely comprehensible to our natural minds. But God did promise to reveal it as we hear Him and obey.” Continue reading The Kingdom of God Defined – August 17, 2014

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The King of the Kingdom of God – August 10, 2014

INTRODUCTION – Kings….. They have ruled kingdoms – large and small – since the earliest days of human history; ……… and each of them have left their indelible mark on those kingdoms. Some were noble men as far as nobility of man goes; some were hideously evil, and wrought all kinds of devastation in their wake.

Kings in most of human history ruled with absolute authority. Some kings sensed the need to steward that authority and power in the fear of the Lord. Most abused it to one degree or another.    A kingdom ruled by a human king in history typically was made up of a certain range or scope of land; all the peoples that lived on that land; all the laws of the land; etc.   These kingdoms – some which were established millenniums ago all reflected the convictions and values of their king.

Continue reading The King of the Kingdom of God

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The Kingdom of God – Part I – August 3, 2014

INTRODUCTION – John the Baptist – the one man that the living God of the Universe chose – out of all the people on the planet – to pave the way for the ministry of His Son – Jesus Christ.     This man that Jesus Himself ascribed greatness to – – began his ministry and his first sermon with these words, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It’s very likely that this was the focus of his preaching from then on.

Jesus Christ – the one and only Son of God – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords – when He began His ministry – and began to preach – – first uttered these exact same words, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”   What is it about the presence of the kingdom of heaven (or the kingdom of God – in scripture they are synonymous) What is it about this kingdom that demands repentance and inner transformation of any and every person who encounters it? And why couldn’t Jesus be original when He started His ministry? Why couldn’t He improve on what John the Baptist preached? Continue reading The Kingdom of God – Part I

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Feb. 22, 2015

INTRODUCTION –

“Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work. To pray for revival while ignoring the plain precept laid down in Scripture is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble. Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience.” A. W. Tozer

Turn to Isa. 66:1,2

When God ever speaks to any problem or challenge or inequity, eventually showing the way to overcome it, He always begins with Himself. Continue reading How To be an Agent/Instrument of Revival – Isa. 66:2

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January 11, 2015

INTRODUCTION – One of the things I did this last week while cooped up in my house due to battling this cold crud is – I gave a lot of thought and prayer to this whole matter of the coming revival. It is coming. As most of you know we devoted our 5th day – Thursday – of our week of prayer and fasting to praying for revival, and praying about fulfilling our calling as a congregation to “be a revival posturing congregation”. That was the first corporate prayer meeting I was able to go to – held at the McCabes – and my sense that night was there was a lot of faith in the room and growing desperation for this promised revival. So for a while now – I’m going to spend my times in the pulpit exploring with you the history of revivals, what revival truly is, why we must believe and seek God for it, and how to prepare for it. Continue reading Revival & the Kingdom of God

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June 8, 2014

INTRODUCTION – – there’s a time to love, bless and pray for our enemies; and there is a time to put them in their place by the Spirit of God – especially when they are enemies of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I want to affirm this morning the truth that probably the most oft repeated command in the New Testament is to love. And I’m convinced that one of the reasons the church in the first century grew so fast and had such an amazing impact is because of its genuine Christ like love. But that does not mean for a second that these disciples did not speak truth and confront sin and stand against deception when it needed to be confronted. Continue reading A time to bless and a time to blind! Acts 13:4-12

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INTRODUCTION – A few weeks ago Joshua introduced us to our passage for today = Acts 13:1-3, and then gave us a broad overview of the topic of Jesus giving spiritual gifts to His church, and how each of us are to respond to those gracious, necessary and strategic gifts.

Today I want to specifically address the subject of prophets and prophetesses and the gift of the prophetic in the 21st century church Continue reading How Jesus the Head Leads His Church Forward!! – Acts 13:1-3

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April 27, 2014
INTRODUCTION – outline on bulletins & list of gov’t leaders

Where we’ve been in the acts series

Joshua two weeks ago

I Tim. 2:1,2 & Nat Day of Prayer Week

The godless, reckless, and destructive rule of King Herod Agrippa the first illustrates very vividly why the church must more faithfully pray for its gov’t leaders
Four tragedies in his rule Continue reading Herod, Gov’t Leaders & The Church – Acts 12:12-25

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April 13, 2014
INTRODUCTION – Ever wonder how Jesus feels about some of your neighbors or co-workers or perhaps fellow students or relatives or maybe teachers or professors – – who routinely scorn God, Christianity, the Church, the bible, maybe they scorn you because of your faith…? Perhaps you are here this morning, and for much of your life you’ve done your own thing, and haven’t really sought the Lord at all…and more times than you care to admit – – you have given into peer pressure; and not stood up for Christ like you should have.

Fortunate for you and for me – – Jesus Christ – – the Lord of Lords and King of Kings and Creator of the Universe and Judge of all – is full of mercy.

There are many events in the course of Jesus’s life and ministry on earth that show us how merciful a God He is. But none more than His last moments on earth. Continue reading Jesus – the Merciful

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March 16, 2014
INTRODUCTION – My word on Friday afternoon from Jer. 31:3??
Beachhead – a secure initial position that has been gained and can be used for further advancement; foothold:

Why do we believe RTB is going to be a Beachhead in our greater region? Powerful gospel proclamation to many people in a short period of time; the church praying and working together like never before; the church developing more effective ways to shepherd and disciple new believers; increased faith that we can do great things by working together and for the greater good. Continue reading Lessons from Antioch; Beachhead via RTB – Acts 11:19-30

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(this was an address to our men at a men’s dinner)
Feb. 27 2014
INTRODUCTION – Based on 20 years and two months of prayer, watching and observation of what God is doing and trying to listen to what He is saying to and about our region; and what He is saying about what He wants to do in our region – – I believe we are on the precipice of a very significant move of God in this coastal area, and on the Central Coast. You and I could have the privilege in the not too distant future of being a part of something we have never seen in the history of this region.

I say “could have the privilege” because it is not guaranteed. And one of the things that could hinder some of us men from being in the forefront of what He is planning to do is our attitude towards and treatment of women. Continue reading On Thinking Towards & Relating to Women as Christ Would

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February 23, 2014

INTRODUCTION – There are 2.18 billion Christians around the world, up from about 600 million in 1910, according to a 2011 study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. But the world’s overall population also has risen rapidly, from an estimated 1.8 billion in 1910 to 6.9 billion in 2010. 7.3 billion today. As a result, Christians make up about the same portion of the world’s population today (32%) as they did a century ago (35%).

What about in our region? 5%?

How are we going to reach all these people? Typically we only think of individuals reaching individuals. And when we look through that lens – – reaching the world for Christ looks pretty bleak. Continue reading Peter & Cornelius – Acts 10:1-48

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January 12, 2014

INTRODUCTION – Cat lovers love to opine that “cats rule and dogs drool”. As we continue in our series in the book of Acts, and start our New Year in Christ together, I want to suggest this morning that Disciples rule and Christians often merely drool.

The church in our 3 coastal town region has some wonderful opportunities this year with all of the mobilization leading up to our Reach the Beach evangelistic outreach in April and our ladies retreat in May and our men’s retreat some time in October and who knows what else. Whether we seize those opportunities and make the most of them – will depend on whether we settle for being Christians, or whether we push forward together to live and walk and reign with Christ as disciples.

I find it interesting as I survey the book of Acts that the author – Dr. Luke – uses the word “disciple” 5 x’s and the word “disciples” 25 x’s, but only uses the word Christian once; and in that instance he merely states that the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. (acts 11:26) In fact that is the only verse in the Bible where the word “Christian” can be found. Continue reading The Difference a Disciple Makes – Acts 9:10-19

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December 2, 2013

INTRODUCTION – Our role as witnesses and dot connectors. As weak as we are, God wants to use each of us more than we could ask or think.

But our limitation as converters – – we can persuade and explain and exhort; but we cannot convert. We cannot stop someone in their tracks and take their breath away, and cause their whole life to pass before their eyes. Only Jesus can do that. And the good news is He continues to do that. Continue reading Jesus – the Great Converter Acts 9:1-19

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INTRODUCTION – Last week we learned some lessons from Philip’s life and ministry regarding what it means to be a witness – noting that of the 20 or so references to the word witness or concept of witnessing in the N.T. – only one is in the form of a verb. In other words – the overwhelming emphasis in the N.T. when discussing the concept of believers witnessing or being witnesses of Jesus and His kingdom is being, not doing. We are witnesses – once we are born again and come into a relationship with the living God. The challenge is learning to be an effective one.

To help us all in that challenge I want to propose a new synonym for witness, and a new handle on our identity in Christ = Dot connectors. You and I are called to be dot connectors for the lost folk in our spheres of influence. Continue reading Wanted! Dot Connectors! Acts 8:26-40

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INTRODUCTION – One of the things we know about the triune living God of the Bible is that to Him “a thousand years is as one day and a day is as a thousand years.” (II Peter 3:8). He is not bound by time. He in fact created time. And thus when He first created man however many thousands of years ago, He could see into the 2nd century and the 10th century and the 16th century and even into the 21st century.
Seeing what He could see, and knowing what He knew – – He decided early on to produce – through the fingers of men – a collection of historical accounts and letters and songs and prayers and prophecies that we today call the Bible. While this – one of a kind collection was penned by 40 different men over a period of 1,500 years, we know from Peter’s second epistle or letter (1:16, 20, 21) and Paul’s second letter to Timothy (3:16) – – – that it has only one author; and that author is the living God. The clearest statement to this effect is II Tim. 3:16, which says, “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness – – so that the man (or woman) of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” God inspired every word of it; and every word of it is necessary and useful to make us into the kind of people He can use to accomplish His purposes in the earth. Continue reading The Kingdom Advances in Samaria Acts 8:4-24

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August 18, 2013
INTRODUCTION – I’ve had discussions with enough of you regarding last Sunday’s service to know that lots of light bulbs were going on, and lots of questions were raised from all that we discussed. This morning we need to revisit some of those things and tie up some other things I sought to convey to you..
Before we discuss some of the subject matter – I want to set the record straight – – I do not have any Harry Potter books by my bedside. But I did win one once at Baywood Elementary – not by design…We were attending Caroline’s open house. And I think I won a door prize. I believe my wife sold it at a used bookstore a few days after I won it, so even if I had wanted to read it, my window for such was very short.

I want to review a few of the truths or principles we discussed last week. What got us going down this path in the first place was what happened in our service two Sundays ago. I felt right before that service – that the Holy Spirit led me to start the service off by reading Matthew 16:13-19. This may be one of the most tragically neglected passages in scripture. So let’s read that now for context:
“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven’ and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Continue reading A Biblical Theology of Music & Singing II

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