Tuesday, October 04, 2011
This is the sermon I missed due to illness. I finally got a copy of and listened to the tape.
Assuring Grace How to defeat your doubts and develop faith
Matthew 9:27-31 “As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’ When He had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and He asked them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ they replied. Then He touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith will it be done to you…’”
Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to Him must believe the He exists and He rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
4 WAYS THAT GOD TESTS OUR FAITH AND DEFEATS OUR DOUBTS
God tests our faith through difficulties.
I Peter 1:6&7 “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you many have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
Our disappointments are God’s appointments. Isaiah 48:10 “See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.”
1st Lesson: If I want to live by faith, I must learn to rejoice continually; not FOR but IN trials.
James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
God tests our faith through assignments or commands.
Exodus 16:4 “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.”
2nd Lesson: If I want to live by faith, I must learn to obey God immediately and leave the consequences to God.
God tests our faith through dollars/abundance.
Luke 16:11 “So if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” How I handle riches has direct correlation with my spiritual strength, confidence and discernment.
3rd Lesson: If I want to live to by faith, I must learn to give generously. No one can out-give God.
God tests our faith through delays.
Deuteronomy 8:2 “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.”
4th Lesson: If I want to live by faith, I must learn to wait patiently.
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
I donated blood this morning - I like to do that because I was once a recipient and this way I can give back.
I visited my dr this afternoon and she took blood to check some of my numbers to be sure I do/don't need a change in that medicine. And she assured me that I'm NOT losing my mind.....a few things I was concerned about are frequently signs of depression, (which I've noticed is getting worse) so she's changed my anti-depressant. It may take several weeks before I see improvement, but at least I'm not losing my mind. Whew!
I don't suffer from being nuts - I embrace it! LOL I have to share something I read years ago, and hope it doesn't offend anyone - I'm speaking as someone who has a mental illness - depression.
"We don't just embrace insanity here; we feel it up, French kiss it and buy it a drink." And another: "Prozac: because sometimes I feel like a nut, and sometimes I don't." Many of you will recognize that last one as a take-off of the candy bar commercial.
Again, I apologize if anyone is offended, but I find that while mental illness IS serious, often it helps to be able to laugh at yourself. I'm a firm believer in seeking medical help if you have a mental illness. I believe/KNOW that God has provided medical professionals to help us, whether it's cancer, broken bones or mental illnesses.
Here's hoping you all have a great day, evening and a restful night so you can start another great day tomorrow morning.
Saturday, October 01, 2011
Hi Everyone, I hope you've been as blessed by the "Grace" sermon notes I've been posting as I have. There are just two more - one for today, and tomorrow I hope to get the tape of the one I missed due to illness. When I get the tape, I'll listen to it and post it one day soon afterwards.
Growing in Grace
The Good News About Grace -- How to become what you are meant to be
II Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Growth is not how many meetings we attend; verses we memorize; Christian CD’s or books we buy, or church services we attend. Growth is how much closer are we to God, how much we love, how much more is my character being changed to be like Jesus.
Three Things We Must Do:
First -- Put off the old. Ephesians 4:22a “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires…”
3 ways we TRY to grow and don’t:
1. Trying to grow by doing good
2. Trying to grow by keeping rules
3. Trying to grow by feeling bad (guilty)
Second -- Put on the new. Ephesians 4:24 “…and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
3 things about our new life:
1. We don’t have to achieve this new life.
2. We don’t have to keep this new life.
3. We DO have to put on this new life.
Third - Be renewed in your mind. Ephesians 4:23 “…to be made new in the attitude of your minds…” Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Friday, September 30, 2011
How to Extend God’s grace to others. Matthew 10:8 “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”
True/False questions to think about:
A person should not be forgiven until he asks for it.
Forgiveness includes minimizing the offense and minimizing the pain caused.
Forgiveness includes restoring and trust and reuniting a relationship.
You haven’t really forgiven until you’ve forgotten the offense
When I see someone else hurt, it is my duty to forgive the offender.
All these statements are false.
WHAT FORGIVENESS IS NOT:
It isn’t conditional
It isn’t minimizing the seriousness of the offense
It isn’t resuming a relationship without change (demonstrated repentance; restitution; rebuilding)
It isn’t forgetting what happened
It isn’t my right to forgive when I wasn’t the one that was hurt
WHAT FORGIVENESS IS:
It is remembering how much you’ve been forgiven. Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Much forgiven, much appreciated.
It is relinquishing my right to get even. Romans 12:19 “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Grace is not ‘fair’ in our eyes.
It is responding to evil with good. Luck 6:27, 28 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” This is possible only with God’s power.
It is repeating the process as long as necessary. Matthew 18:21,22 “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” (that’s not a concrete number – it signifies forgiving as often as it is needed)
There once was a man who had a dog he disliked. One day the dog fell into a dry well. The man looked down the well and decided to leave the dog there, so he started shoveling dirt onto the dog. The dog felt the first shovelful of dirt hit him and stood up and shook it off. Again and again the man tossed dirt down the well . Each time the dog shook it off and stepped up on top of the growing mound of dirt. Eventually, the mound of dirt reached the top of the well and the dog stepped out. When someone dishes dirt on you, shake it off and step up.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Here is the second in the "Grace" series
Lamentations 5:19-22 (Prayer of Jeremiah) “You, O Lord, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation. Why do you always forget us? Why do you forsake us so long? Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure.”
What causes believers to fall away from Christ?
1. Overconfidence. Mark 14:27-29 “’You will all fall away,’ Jesus told them, ‘for it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.’ Peter declared, ‘Even if all fall away, I will not.’”
2. Laziness. Mark 14:37 “Then He returned to His disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Simon,’ He said to Peter, ‘are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.’”
3. Fear of disapproval. Mark 14:54a “Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest.”
4. Convenience. Mark 14:54b “There he (Peter) sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.”
Why doesn’t God reject believers when they fall away?
1. Because His love is unconditional. Lamentations 3:23 “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions (mercies) never fail.”
2. Because salvation isn’t based on my performance. Titus 3:4-5 “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”
3. Because Jesus has already taken my punishment. I John 2:2 “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”
4. Because Jesus understands my human weakness. Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.”
5. Because God doesn’t hold on to grudges. Psalm 103:9,10,13 “He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities….As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear (are in awe of) Him.”
What should believers do when they fall away?
Repent and turn to the Lord. Jeremiah 15:19 “Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.’”
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