• Greetings & Welcome

    Greetings & Welcome

June 29, 2008

INTRODUCTION – Does anyone know what the ten commandments are?
1. You shall have no other gods before Me.” Vs. 3
2. You shall not make for yourself an idol…” vs. 4
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain..” vs. 7
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Vs. 8
5. Honor your father and your mother…” vs. 9
6. You shall not murder. Vs. 13
7. You shall not commit adultery. Vs. 14
8. You shall not steal.” Vs. 15
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Vs. 16
10. You shall not covet.” Vs. 17 Continue reading “You Shall Not Murder” – Matthew 5:21-26 & Ex. 20:13

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June 22, 2008

INTRODUCTION – As we jump back into our series in the gospel of Matthew, keeping our theme “Truly great in 2008” in view, I want to quickly review where we have been, so we have context for where we are going.
Jesus Christ – knowing that His time on earth is short, and knowing that His disciples must carry on His mission upon His departure, and knowing that the forces of hell will come against them, is seeking to build a culture of kingdom character and purpose that will enable them to not only enter into and experience all the blessings of His kingdom, but also to expand it.. That’s what we see in the first 11 vs. of ch. 5 – typically called the Beattitudes, followed by a few verses on the role His disciples play in the world as salt and light.

Our last discussion in this series revolved around the commandments of God or the whole topic of obedience to the word and will of God. (read Matt. 5:17-19) This is one of many passages in the gospels where Jesus makes very clear how crucial every word of God is for us to be able to know and follow Him.
We determined that those who are great in the kingdom of God are those who have learned to become obedience trainers. They not only seek to obey the Lord themselves, but they also try to help others do the same. Continue reading The Battle for Righteousness Matthew 5:20-26

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May 25, 2008
INTRODUCTION – Four State Supreme Court justices shocked the world last week when they decided in their infinite wisdom that homosexual marriages are just as legally justified as heterosexual ones, and thus should be treated as such in CA.

I have observed and read a variety of responses to this judicial decision. Homosexuals and lesbians wanting to be married to one another and wanting to be recognized by the government as such of course are elated. Various leaders of Christian activist groups are outraged, and are vowing to fight this to the end.

While I will be the first to vote for a marriage amendment to our state constitution that will override this judicial decision, I do not think that that – in and of itself will solve the ever deepening problem we are witnessing in our society. I submit to you this morning that the primary reason marriage is in such trouble in our society is because married believers have either not understood the original intended purpose and importance of marriage, and/or have been cavalier or complacent in pursuing that purpose and priority in their own marriages. And because we have either not understood God’s original intended purpose and plan, or we have not been passionate about pursuing that purpose for our own marriages, we have lacked the conviction, authority and passion necessary to help reproduce it in other’s marriages. Continue reading Marriage Revisited

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Greatness through Keeping & Teaching
Matthew 5:17-20
INTRODUCTION – review of our theme & Matthew series
Ch. 5 Vs. 13-16 tells us two things that was true of the disciples and followers of Jesus then, and is true of many of us today.

1. we followers or disciples of Jesus have an amazing calling and strategic role in the plans and purposes of God on the earth. (e.g. salt and light)

2. we tend to not rise to our calling; we tend to think less of our importance than we should. We tend to minimize our role and contribution. (e.g. tasteless salt; and hidden light)

So the question we ought to be asking after reading this passage: How can I achieve the full potential of my calling to be salt and light in the earth?? How can I achieve the kingdom greatness Jesus has called me to? 2 pronged answer from the following passage. (read Matt. 5:17-20) Continue reading Pursuing Kingdom Greatness – Part V

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April 6, 2008

INTRODUCTION – review of our theme & Matthew series
Ch. 5 Vs. 13-16 tells us two things that was true of the disciples and followers of Jesus then, and is true of many of us today.

1. we followers or disciples of Jesus have an amazing calling and strategic role in the plans and purposes of God on the earth. (e.g. salt and light)

2. we tend to not rise to our calling; we tend to think less of our importance than we should. We tend to minimize our role and contribution. (e.g. tasteless salt; and hidden light)

So the question we ought to be asking after reading this passage: How can I achieve the full potential of my calling to be salt and light in the earth?? How can I achieve the kingdom greatness Jesus has called me to? 2 pronged answer from the following passage. Continue reading Greatness through Keeping & Teaching – Matthew 5:17-20

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March 9, 2008
INTRODUCTION – Our theme and our call to greatness – – the Holy Spirit’s insistence that we doggedly pursue it

There were a lot of great men and women in the old testament era; but perhaps none greater than King David

Acts 13:22 “…He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.”

“David became greater and greater…” II Sam. 5:10 & I Chron. 11:9

Reasons why David was able to achieve such greatness. Continue reading Learning from David’s Greatness

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March 2nd, 2008 – Clarifying Kingdom Greatness
INTRODUCTION –

I. Getting Clear on Our Definitions/Terms
A. The kingdom greatness that Jesus Christ calls each of His disciples to is basically being just like Him in our attitudes, character, responses, and deeds. It is the quality of life that produces fruitfulness and increase in everything we touch. It knows no limitations or obstacles because it is actually the very life of Christ being expressed through our mortal bodies. Kingdom greatness starts with our own hidden life, and then begins to affect our home life, our work life, our church life, and our witness in the world. Kingdom greatness always results in transformation, not just words. It is bathed in love. And its ultimate result is God being glorified and exalted. The more we see God in all His greatness, the more we will want to live lives that reflect such greatness. Continue reading Pursuing Kingdom Greatness – Part III

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February 17, 2008

INTRODUCTION – Two weeks ago – I finally got my pulpit back ☺ and we began to explore our theme for this year, which I believe God sovereignly gave us – and that theme is “Truly great in 2008”.

Since God began to reveal this theme to us back on the 6th of January in our corporate prayer meeting, I’ve been trying to discern why He gave this particular theme to us at this time? What are His purposes and intentions for us this year, and how does this theme fit in? Why greatness?

Two weeks ago – I think the first big clue we got was – the greatness of God is a consistent theme throughout scripture. “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.” The psalmist declared in Psalm 48:1. God is great; He has revealed His greatness to us; He has manifested it in His creation; and He wants to manifest it through His people – the church. When you delve into scripture and see how often God’s greatness is declared or proclaimed, it becomes real obvious that His people ought to be a reflection of that greatness. If we are to be a living epistle, read by all men, as the apostle Paul declared he was, and by implication we are, we dare not wallow in smallness and mediocrity and unbelief. Continue reading Pursuing Kingdom Greatness – Part II

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Truly Great in 2008 –

INTRODUCTION – Reality of world crisis (Kenya, Iraq, ), national crisis (foreclosures, medical insurance, debt, apathy re: politics), state crisis (financial bust, immigration), los osos crisis,
Small church crisis (shortage of volunteers, big bills, few people to pay, small thinking); personal/family crisis;

In the lyrics of one of Leland’s great songs, “This is an emergency.”

J.F.K.’s quote – “Great crises produce great men and great deeds of courage.”

Biblically – “Great crises cause the people of God to get re-focused on our great God, and out of that focus comes great kingdom solutions.” Continue reading Pursuing Kingdom Greatness – Part I

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December 30, 2007

INTRODUCTION –

I. HOW IMPORTANT IS LOVE = WHETHER IT BE LOVING GOD OR LOVING ONE ANOTHER OR LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR??
5 reasons why I believe it is the main thing the Holy Spirit is doing in His church in these days; and why it should be the main or most important thing we give ourselves to in these days
A. Fufills the whole law like nothing else
– ROM. 13:8-10 “…for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. … Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
– GALATIANS 5:14 “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
– JAMES 2:8 “If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well.” Continue reading Loving into the New Year

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December 19, 2007

I woke up this morning with three heroes on my mind – thinking about cities – and how we are going to overcome the overwhelming problems most of our cities are facing today. No these heroes will not be found on NBC’s hit show “Heroes”. Each of them lived thousands of years ago in cities and nations that faced all kinds of enemies within and without. Their names are: Joseph, Esther and Daniel. And while they were all Jewish, none of them served and made their amazing contributions to society in Jewish communities. In fact they lived and served in cities and empires where the Jewish God and faith were not known or respected.

Joseph was the youngest of 12 brothers, and was known and despised by his brothers as a dreamer. Not the kind of dreamer that day dreamed in class while the teacher was instructing. But Joseph received dreams from God, and later on was able to interpret dreams from God that others received. He landed in Egypt at an early age because his older brothers out of envy and spite sold him to a group of Midianite traders, who later sold him to Potiphar – Pharoah’s officer and the captain of the bodyguard. Joseph was not only ripped away from his family, but also after a time of faithful service, falsely accused of attempted rape of Pharoah’s officer’s wife, and unjustly imprisoned for two years. His divine ability to interpret dreams (a gift that I believe is still given and needed today) eventually was his ticket to get out of prison since no one else could interpret the dream God gave to Pharoah but Joseph. In the dream God communicated that seven good fruitful years were coming, but after that seven years of famine. It was a warning dream sent by a merciful God of the need to prepare for the coming hard times. Joseph by this time was marked by his wisdom and discernment. Pharoah saw it and promoted him to be his right hand man – next in command only to him. Joseph then led Egypt – a pagan nation- to prepare for this seven year famine. And because of his favor with Pharoah, he was able to eventually bring his family there so they (and their descendants) might be preserved through this famine as well.

In my last blog, I talked about how God, (who is infinite in wisdom by the way), invites cities to look to Him for that wisdom to solve the myriad problems they are facing. One of the ways He avails that wisdom to cities is through individuals like Joseph. I would submit today that one of the great needs of our cities is wise men and women. There is no challenge or obstacle or crisis that wisdom cannot help us overcome or get through. So what can we learn from Joseph’s example? Well let me suggest four things.

First, by the time Joseph was exalted to his position with Pharoah – he was a humble man. Prov. 11:12 says, “When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom.” Joseph had a pride problem in the beginning with his brothers that led to their ridding themselves of him. But by the time he had been thrown in a pit by them, sold as a slave by them, and unjustly been thrown in prison by the Egyptians, he had a much more humble view of himself. Life was no longer about him. He realized now that the gifts he had were just that – gifts (e.g. receiving and interpreting dreams from God).

Second, Joseph was a forgiving man. Here is a man who had been thrown in a pit and sold to Midianite (non Jewish) slave traders by his own brothers. Then he was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife of attempting to rape her. Then he was unjustly thrown in prison because of that. And while in prison, he helped two fellow prisoners understand their dreams and destiny, who once out of prison failed to keep their commitment to speak a good word of him to Pharoah. Prov. 9:10 says “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Part of fearing the Lord is obeying what he says. And one of the things he is adamant about is that we forgive every one of every offense against us. One cannot effectively lead in today’s society who hasn’t learned to forgive. It is almost a daily necessity for those who work with people.

Third, Joseph was a focused and disciplined man. He knew that if he pursued wisdom he would be able to walk in it. But if he was sloppy and gave into his passions and the pleasures of the world, he would possibly lose everything precious to him. We are told in the account of his life and service in Egypt in the book of Genesis (39:1-18) that he had free access and reign over Potiphar’s house. Potiphar’s wife quickly began to lust after him and entice him, and this went on for quite some time. Because Joseph had developed a lifestyle of pursuing wisdom and seeking God’s favor and blessing, he had the inner strength to resist her advances. Prov. 7:4,5 says, “Say to wisdom, You are my sister,” And call understanding your intimate friend; That they may keep you from an adulteress, from the foreigner who flatters with her words.” How many public servants (and priests and pastors) initially brought a great gift to their cities, but then lost it all because they could not control their passions. Cities need men and women who can stay focused on the task at hand, and not be side-railed because their passions are out of control.

Fourth, Joseph though a young man, had the favor and blessing of God on him. (see Gen. 39:2 & 23). We often tend to think that wisdom lies only in older men or women. But Job 32:9 says, “the abundant in years may not be wise, Nor may elders understand justice.” Age should be an advantage in our service in our cities, but it is not necessarily so. A young man (or woman) with the favor and blessing of God on him because of the qualities mentioned above is of far more value to a city or a leadership team, than a man or woman with years under their belt, but little to no wisdom.

Parents, school teachers and administrators, therapists, coaches, priests and pastors – – if we are going to overcome the daunting challenges our cities are facing, we are going to have to devote more of our energies to developing this kind of character in our young people, and when they step forward we need to get out of the way and let them lead. I don’t know about your city, but mine is in dire need of some heroes right now like Joseph.

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November 27, 2007

I asked the basic question in my first blog, “Does God care about cities; and even if he does, can he and will he do anything about the deteriorating state of many of our cities in America?” I believe he does care, and one of the many reasons I believe that is because of the example of how God dealt with ancient Nineveh.

Remember the story of Jonah in the Old Testament? God gave him an assignment one day that was the one assignment he hoped he would never receive. Jonah knew better than anyone that Nineveh was one of the most violent and wicked cities on the face of the earth at that time. As far as Jonah was concerned they deserved the judgment of God, and the sooner the better. The last thing he wanted to do was help them escape that. So he tried to escape from God. That of course didn’t work, and eventually reeking like fish guts, he agreed to be God’s mouthpiece to this troubled city.

The good news is Jonah agreed to obey God. The bad news is he never felt about them the way God did. And when they to his utter surprise and dismay responded to his message, he grew very bitter and sullen. At the end of the book God is found still trying to help Jonah see them the way God does, and this is what God says to him, “And should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?”

The fact is God had great compassion on one of the most wicked cities ever to dot earth’s landscape. It doesn’t mean he ignored their wickedness. But his judgment was overridden by his mercy for a time at least.

What I have concluded from this and many other passages is that God loves and has compassion on the people of the world’s cities. And that he is more than willing to help them with their overwhelming problems and challenges.

One of my favorite books in the Old Testament is the book of Proverbs. Someone has said that whereas in the book of Psalms (which comes right before the book of Proverbs) you find man on his knees or in public worship with God’s people; in the Proverbs you find man in the marketplace. Proverbs is full of extremely practical stuff on how to succeed in your marriage, family, business, community, nation, etc.

I’ve read Proverbs for many years, but it was only in the last few that I have begun to notice how many times God invites the leaders of cities to look to Him for the wisdom they need to lead their cities forward. Let me share a few of them with you with some comments interspersed:
“Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; (for many of us in the church we have foolishly believed the only place God speaks in a church meeting)
At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city (my emphasis), she utters her sayings: (Wisdom is personified as a person in many of these writings, but a thorough reading of the book makes it clear that God is the giver of wisdom, and He isn’t stingy with it). Prov. 1:20,21

“Does not wisdom call, And understanding lift up her voice? On top of the heights beside the way. Where the paths meet, she takes her stand; Beside the gates, at the opening to the city (my emphasis), At the entrance of the doors, she cries out: To you, O men, I call, And my voice is to the sons of men. (“men” is often used in a generic way in the scriptures – the context of the passage is usually the key to know if it is just speaking of the male gender or not). O naïve ones, discern prudence; And, o fools, discern wisdom.”
Prov. 8:1-5 (see also Prov. 9:1-6, and Micah 6:9 “the voice of the Lord will call to the city..”).

A crucial question at this point is how can we hear the voice of God or how can we recognize and receive this wisdom? I will grapple with that in a subsequent blog. For now I want to say to the leaders of our cities – whether you have an official title or not –
Get a hold of a contemporary version of the Bible if you do not have one, and get familiar with the Proverbs. They were written for you and your cities.

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Nov. 12, 2007

Cities…. I’ve lived in a number of them over the years. For the last almost 14 years I’ve lived in one called Los Osos. At one point we were a fairly tight little community of 14,000 or so. But then some years ago the pressure and strain of a County mandated sewer began to test our unity and maturity, and in many ways we have not handled the test very well.

Is our community doomed to ongoing fracture, “economic cleansing” and even destruction as some are predicting? I don’t think so. To the contrary I believe our town is some day going to be a place known for its unity, tranquility, and maturity. But it is going to require some significant changes of attitude, some significant sacrifice for those willing to roll up their sleeves, and some significant mercy, favor and blessing from God. Continue reading Cities & Scorning

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October 28, 2007

INTRODUCTION – Last week as we finished up our series on the Beatitudes – at one point I tried to sum up in a sentence or two each – what they all meant, and how they fit together. I wonder if any of you listening to that felt a little bit overwhelmed at trying to develop all of those kingdom characteristics?? For sure, all of those characteristics are characteristics that we have to pursue and strive to grow in. They do not just naturally develop.

Well in one sense that is not true of our next paragraph = vs. 13-16. Let’s read it together, and then I will explain what I mean. Continue reading Implications of Being Salt & Light – Matthew 5:13-16

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October 21, 2007
INTRODUCTION
There are many things that distinguish and set apart the Lord Jesus Christ from all of the other renowned religious leaders that have walked this earth. For instance:

Jesus Christ only led His effort for 3 & ½ years. For the first 30 years of His life, He basically hid; He did not give a speech, form an organization, write an essay or letter to the editor, or develop a leadership team in those years – even though He knew His time on the earth was short. Muhammed, Ghandi and the rest gave most of their adult years to their efforts.

Jesus Christ rose from the dead, appeared on the earth for 40 days after that to over 500 different credible, known people, and then ascended in front of many of them to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. Muhammed, Ghandi and the rest are still in the dirt – what’s left of them. Continue reading “Blessed are the Persecuted” – Matthew 5:10-12

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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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August 2007?

INTRODUCTION – If, when you read this verse, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8), your shoulders kind of sag, and your spirit grieves a bit, then your response is pretty normal.

Here are a couple of rather sobering comments from two of my favorite commentators on this passage:

“Here, then, we are face to face with one of themes magnificent, and yet one of the most solemnizing and searching statements, which can be found anywhere in Scripture.” Martyn Lloyd Jones p. 108 “Studies in the Sermon on the Mount” Continue reading Seeing God – Part I – Matthew 5:8

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August 5, 2007
INTRODUCTION –

Def. of Mercy – Webster – compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power. Mercy implies compassion that forbears punishing even when justice demands it.

Vines says of merciful of Matt. 5:7 – (eleemon) – not simply possessed of pity, but actively compassionate – is used of Christ as our High Priest & of those who are like God as in Matt. 5:7 Continue reading Blessed are the Merciful – Matt. 5:7

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July 22, 2007

INTRODUCTION – One of the things I love about the Holy Spirit is that He doesn’t just stop at convicting us of sin, and leaving us to grovel in our failure and misery. No, once He truly convicts and convinces us of our sin, He then cleanses us of that sin; and then conforms us to the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. Any true work of the Holy Spirit will always result in our becoming more like our Savior.

Two of the conforming works He is doing in these days are: 1. producing true happiness and joy in His people – the kind of joy that our Savior walked in and continues to walk in; and the kind of joy that gives us inner strength to endure hardship and suffering for His sake. 2. pouring out passion and zeal on His people that is ever increasing, and not just a result of a mountain top experience. The people of God were never meant to operate without those two things. Continue reading Hungering and Thirsting for Righteousness – Matt. 5:6

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July 1, 2007

INTRODUCTION – A few weeks ago – in our ongoing series through the gospel of Matthew – we started chapter 5, which opens with the Sermon on the Mount. We learned on that day that Jesus Christ at this point was beginning to pave the way for the culture of His kingdom to be established upon the earth through His disciples. And that that culture was to be founded on the very life and character of Christ. We learned that His will for His disciples is that we walk in a lifestyle of blessedness, or joy or happiness, though not as the world defines happiness. This blessedness is a state of mind and heart that is from the inside out, and cannot be altered or snuffed out by adverse circumstances. It comes as a result – not of any set of favorable circumstances; but rather because of Christ like character that we have allowed the Holy Spirit to form in us.

The first of those characteristics we looked at last time was that of being “poor in spirit”. This characteristic in fact is the one that opens the door to all the rest of them. To be poor in spirit we learned is to be in constant awareness of how spiritually needy we always are. It is similar to being humble or broken, and it is the opposite of pride or self reliance or self sufficiency.

Today as we prepare to come to the Lord’s table and partake of communion with Him, I want to quickly touch on the next one in line, which we find in vs. 4 of Matthew ch. 5. “Blessed, happy, joyful are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Happy are those who mourn??? You gotta be kidding! How can a person mourn and be happy or joyful at the same time? Continue reading The Blessedness of Mourning – Communion Meditation Matthew 5:4

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July 8, 2007

INTRODUCTION – Review of the Big Picture of the Sermon on the Mount; summary of first two beatitudes or kingdom characteristics.

I. Understanding the term “meek” or “gentle” – Matthew 5:5
A. Various Translations
K.J. = Meek
NKJ = meek
ESV = meek
NIV = meek
LB = meek and lowly
NASV= gentle
UNASV= gentle
So why did the NASV depart from all the others? Possibly because “meek” doesn’t communicate well in our society today, and gentle or humble does and is fairly synonymous. How often do you hear of someone spoken of as meek? Continue reading Only the Meek Inherit – Matthew 5:5

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June 3, 2007

INTRODUCTION – In our Quest to know and follow Jesus Christ, and to experience more of His heavenly kingdom – here on earth in this community – in this day– we have been working our way through the gospel of Matthew. This morning we are ready to jump into chapter five, which introduces us to one of the most famous portions of all of scripture – commonly called the Sermon on the Mount. I think it is safe to say that no sermon that has ever been given by man has impacted more people than this one.

It is within this long sermon that spans 3 chapters in the gospel of Matthew that we find well known passages like the Beatitudes, the Lord’s Prayer, and the golden rule, which exhorts us to treat people the same way we would want to be treated.

I’m excited about what God is going to do in our midst as we live in these pages together. But I am concerned that we not lose the forest for the trees. There are some very important questions that we need to answer before we jump into the specifics of this sermon. The four I want to tackle today are: Why did Jesus stop His quickly growing ministry to give such a long teaching? Who was He targeting? What did He hope to accomplish? And why did He start it the way He started? Continue reading The Sermon on the Mount – Part I – Matthew 5:1-3

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May 29, 2007

1. Acts 2:37-41 – Peter ministering to the Jews
What is it they heard? Vs. 37
How did they respond? Vs. 37
What is the first thing Peter commanded them to do? Vs. 38
2nd thing? Vs. 38
What is Peter’s promise if they respond appropriately? Vs. 38
Note also his ongoing exhortation? Vs. 40
Who were the ones who got baptized according to vs. 41?
What was the setting of this event?
As far as we know from this passage, what is true of every person who was baptized? Continue reading Accounts of Baptism in the New Testament Post Christ’s Ascension

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