Archive for the ‘Sunday Morning Sermons’ Category

Wisdom Protocol

Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Wisdom Protocol

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

James 1:5–8

The story is told of an old man whose grandson rode a donkey while they were traveling from one city to another. The old man heard some people mumbling, “Would you look at that old man walking, suffering on his feet, while that strong young boy is totally capable of walking?”

The criticism cut deeply, so he changed positions. The old man started riding the donkey while the boy walked. Sure enough others started grumbling. “Would you look at that—a healthy man riding the donkey and making that poor little boy suffer! Can you believe that?”

To avoid further criticism, the old man changed again. This time, he and the boy both hopped up on the donkey. They both started riding. You guessed it, people still criticized him. He could hear people saying, “Would you look at those heavy brutes making that poor donkey suffer.”

So he and his grandson jumped down and they both started walking. He thought, No one will criticize us for this. But people are fickle. He soon heard some people say, “Would you look at that waste-—a perfectly good donkey not being used.” The old man was at his wits’ end. What should he do? The old man decided to carry both the donkey and boy.

Do you ever at your wits’ end not know what to do? This old man tried to make wise decisions but ended up carrying a monstrous burden. Why? He looked to his own knowledge to resolve his problem of receiving criticism. He needed more insight than he had.

Life is complicated. Often we are given confusing information or conflicting input. COVID has served as a mighty illustration of that point. Wear a mask… don’t wear a mask… and the statistics slung by folks from all sides make me dizzy.  

So we go to the Bible. We can get absolute truth from the Bible! But what if there is a subject we need to address that is not specifically addressed by the Bible? COVID protocol is not a scriptural topic. Sure, you could read things into passages, but you know and I know that you cannot honestly say the Bible gives clear direction about masks, vaccines, or social distancing. What about non COVID stuff? Should you take that job? Should you date? Should you marry? Should you buy a car or wait?

James tells us in chapter 1 and verse 4 that it is possible to be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. But wait! I don’t know what to do here! James, through the Holy Spirit, tells us that it is possible to get specific Wisdom from God fashioned specifically for you in your specific situation. In order to know from God what is the best choice to make you need to follow Wisdom Protocol.

Ask For Wisdom From God.

James 1:5 KJV

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

  • Ask The Giving God

• Acknowledge your lack of wisdom

 • Ask and search the scriptures.

 • If your “answer” conflicts with Scriptures then it is not God’s Answer.

 • If your “answer” conflicts with someone else’s choices, recognize that God can lead different folks differently.

Romans 14:4 KJV

Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

Ask The Gracious God.

 God gives his wisdom to men not only just for the asking but also without chiding a man for his previous sins, many of which the man may not even know he has committed.

 – James B. Adamson

Proverbs 10:22 KJV

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, And he addeth no sorrow with it.

Ask For Wisdom In Confidence.

James 1:6–7 KJV

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 

For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

Hebrews 11:6 KJV

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

 • Ask in faith – confidence in prayer

 • Ask without wavering

Doubting (?????????????). Compare Matt. 21:21. Not equivalent to unbelief, but expressing the hesitation which balances between faith and unbelief, and inclines toward the latter. This idea is brought out in the next sentence.1

1 Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 1 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 725.

 The doubter is like “a sea of waves,” now wind-driven toward the southeast, and now toward the northwest, with nothing that could sensibly be called progress. Though we know there could be a storm on the Lake, we are here assuming no more than normal winds and their effects on the waters.  – James B, Adamson

The most famous doubter of all time is Thomas. Through history Judas has been the only disciple criticized more than Thomas. Tradition has given him a new name: “Doubting Thomas.” He wanted proof that Jesus was resurrected from the dead.

But can you blame him? When the resurrected Christ appeared to some of his disciples, Thomas was not there. Can you imagine seeing someone die, knowing he was buried, and then hearing from friends that they had seen him alive? You might feel sympathetic toward them, expecting them to get over it in time. If they keep telling you on and on and on, you might feel a need to confront them. That was the situation for Thomas.

In recent years, many Christians have been more sympathetic to Thomas. They have recognized that if they had been in the same position they may have had the same doubts. In his position, I have almost no doubt that I would have been a doubter. My nickname might have become, “Doubting Mark.”

 Devotional writer Selwyn Hughes wrote “Those who doubt most, and yet strive to overcome their doubts, turn out to be some of Christ’s strongest disciples.” Thomas was transformed, saying, “My lord and my God!” That does not hit us as powerfully as it would hit the original disciples. Before that day, they called Jesus rabbi, meaning teacher. They called him Christ, meaning the anointed one. The called him the son of the living God. No one, before Thomas, had called Jesus, “God.” Jewish leaders would not have hesitated to pass the death sentence on Thomas for blasphemy. It was an incredible and dangerous thing to say.

 The Bible says that the one who had been most honest about his doubts was the first to call Jesus, “God.” There are traditions that say he was the disciple who traveled furthest to tell others about Christ. Tradition teaches that he proclaimed the gospel in Babylon, Persia, and all the way to India. There are Christian churches in southern India claiming to trace their heritage to Thomas.

Ask In Stability

James 1:8 KJV

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Double-minded (???????). Peculiar to James, here and ch. 4:8. Not deceitful, but dubious and undecided.

Unstable (???????????). Only here in New Testament. The kindred ???????????, confusion, is found ch. 3:16, and elsewhere.1

1 Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 1 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 727.

God is not pleased with a double-minded (lit., “two-souled,” dipsychos; cf. 4:8) man who is unstable in all he does, like an unsteady, staggering drunk. The answer from God depends on assurance in God.1

1 J. Ronald Blue, “James,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 821.

When the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez landed at Vera Cruz, Mexico in 1519 he was intent on conquest. To assure the devotion of his men, Cortez set fire to his fleet of eleven ships! With no means of retreat, Cortez’s army had only one direction to move, into the Mexican interior.

Cortez understood the price of commitment—and he paid it. He did not want his soldiers to possess a divided loyalty (a double minded man!, Lk 16:13, Mt 6:24, James 1:8).

Have you settled the issue of who is Lord of your heart?

Have you “burned down the ships” and left the old ways of the world behind you?

Can you say, “I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS……NO TURNING BACK!”

God really does answer prayer! God really does give wisdom! God really does lead individually. I know we would rather have someone just tell us every little detail of the Christian life, but that is not God’s design. He wants you to come to Him, the Giving God. He wants you to come to Him in confidence. He wants you to get rid of the instability of hesitation, but come to Him in the rock solid stable expectancy that He will give you the wisdom you are asking for. This is Wisdom Protocol.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:10 PM September 24, 2020.

Christians in the Midst of Crisis

Thursday, September 17th, 2020

Christians in the Midst of Crisis

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Mission; Mercy and Compassion; Comfort / 1 Thessalonians 5:14

As calls to crisis hotlines spike amid the coronavirus, those who respond feel the strain

Suzanne Hirt

USA TODAY NETWORK

June 15, 2020

Thousands of anxious, stressed, isolated and uncertain callers are flooding helplines nationwide. They are teenagers and senior citizens. They have lost jobs, homes and relatives. Some express suicidal thoughts or fears that their positive COVID-19 test is a death sentence. Others reach out in the throes of a panic attack.

“Our phones are ringing off the hook,” said Honberg. “We stay busy. You hang up and it rings again.”

The dramatic increase is straining the licensed social workers and volunteers who strive to support callers’ mental and emotional health even as the pandemic takes a toll on their own lives and families.

In an April survey of crisis providers nationwide, nearly half of the 93 call centers that responded reported an increase in call volume, and almost as many said their workforce was overwhelmed. Many cited burnout, fatigue and mental or physical health concerns. 

The Alliance, known as NAMI, reported a 65% jump in HelpLine calls, callbacks and emails for the period of March 1 to April 30 from last year’s numbers in the same time span. Callers in the past typically wanted information or resources for a loved one, but now, four times as many people are reaching out about their own needs.

The Disaster Distress Helpline, a sub-network of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that offers emotional support to people in need after natural and human-caused disasters, saw an 890% spike in call volume in April compared with April 2019.

The Crisis Text Line, which provides round-the-clock support via text messages with a trained crisis counselor, had 9,854 counselors active during a 28-day period ending May 29 – more than double the number that were active in the 28 days before the pandemic, CEO Nancy Lublin said. 

“It’s stressful to think that there are people calling us and we can’t take their call immediately because we’re already on the phone with somebody,” said Rose Andre, a staff member at the Colorado Crisis Hotline, which also answers National Suicide Prevention Lifeline calls that originate from a Colorado area code. “We’re all feeling that chaos.”

COVID is not the only stress we are facing, our nation is plagued with racial tensions, police abuse of power, hatred for the military, disdain for law and order, a mistrust of the electoral system, and a general feeling of anxiety and hopelessness.

Beside all this people are carrying personal issues, like health threats, relationship problems, financial pressures, and other things. Everywhere you go people are hurting. I think based upon the article we just shared, the nation is in crisis.

Right in this room there are folks who are hanging on to sanity by a thread. Now more than ever we Christians need to serve as selfless Crisis workers. We must give warning, comfort, support, and patience to folks all around us.  

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Thessalonian believers gave them a similar exhortation.  When everything seems to be falling apart, we need to get our eyes off of ourselves and look on the needs of others. We need to be ready with a word that will comfort and rescue the person next to us. We need to be ready willing, and prepared to be used as Christians in Crisis.

Warn The Unruly

1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

 • Warn those who are idle.

In this context, warn implies a strong admonition not to behave in a particular way. A satisfactory translation may be simply “tell those who are idle that they must not be so,” “tell those lazy people that this is not right,” or “speak strongly to the lazy persons.”

Ellingworth, P., & Nida, E. A. (1976). A handbook on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians (p. 119). New York: United Bible Societies.

 • Warn the disorderly

Admonish the disorderly (?????????? ???? ???????? [noutheteite tous ataktous]). Put sense into the unruly mob who break ranks (? [a] privative and ?????? [taktos], verbal adjective of ????? [tass?], to keep military order). Recall the idlers from the market-place used against Paul (Acts 17:5). This is a challenging task for any leader

Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (1 Th 5:14). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.

 • Warn the unruly

Them that are unruly (???? ????????). N. T.o. The A. V. is more vigorous and less stilted than Rev. disorderly. From ? not and ??????? draw up or arrange. Those who are out of line. Comp. the adverb ??????? disorderly, 2 Th. 3:6, 11. Probably referring to the idlers and busybodies described there.

Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 4, pp. 48–49). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

2 Thessalonians 3:11 KJV

For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

A group of 49 students and staff from Royd’s Comprehensive Middle School in England went on a week-long outdoor trip. One morning, a teacher took a small group on a river walk. She had never seen the water higher, so she led the kids through the dangerous river, instead of walking behind as usual. One of the boys slipped while trying to cross the swollen river, and needed help to get out.

Later that day another group and another teacher go on the same walk. This time, Rochelle and Hannah, two 13 year old girls, are swept away to their deaths in the flooded stream. One of the girls laughed as she slipped in the water. She thought she looked silly–her friends laughed with her. She had no idea of the danger she was really in.

Ms. Nicholson was asked why she had not warned the later groups. Her answer: She didn’t think anyone would answer the phone at the youth hostel where they were staying. She didn’t think anyone would listen.

SOURCE: SermonCentral staff. Citation: Stokes, Paul. River Fear Not Passed on by Walk Teacher. UK Telegraph, Feb 21,2002. 

Comfort the Feebleminded

1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words Fainthearted

oligopsuchos (??????????, 3642), lit., “small-souled” (oligos, “small,” psuche, “the soul”), denotes “despondent”; then, “fainthearted

the timid (oligopsychous, lit., “short of soul”) need encouragement. These fainthearted people tend to become discouraged and despondent more easily than most. They need cheering up, stimulation to press on, and extra help to live the Christian life. (Interestingly the verbs in these two commands [parakaloumen and paramytheisthe] are in the same order as the first two participles in 2:12.)

Constable, T. L. (1985). 1 Thessalonians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 708). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

A literal translation of encourage the timid could result in precisely the wrong meaning, namely, “encourage the timid to be more timid.” A more satisfactory equivalent may be found in a rendering such as “give courage to those who are fearful,” “take away the fear from those who are afraid,” or “give confidence to those who are afraid.”

Ellingworth, P., & Nida, E. A. (1976). A handbook on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians (p. 119). New York: United Bible Societies.

A little girl lost a playmate in death and one day reported to her family that she had gone to comfort the sorrowing mother. “What did you say?” asked her parents. “Nothing,” she replied. “I just climbed up on her lap and cried with her.

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 70.

Support The Weak

1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

Word Studies in the New Testament Chapter 5

Support (?????????). Comp. Matt. 6:24; Tit. 1:9. ???? against and ??????? to hold one’s self. The primary sense is, keeping one’s self directly opposite to another so as to sustain him.

“Weakness,” it should be noted, has very often been held in disdain by others, who think of themselves as the “strong”; however, Paul has here captured one of the marks of truly Christian faith, as it has been exhibited in full by our Lord himself in his earthly life.

Fee, G. D. (2009). The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians (pp. 210–211). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

In any case, it is clear that Paul’s use of the word weak, here as in Romans 14:1–2, does not imply any condemnation. Like the timid, the weak are people who need help, no doubt because they are immature or inexperienced. Since it is impossible to know precisely the meaning of weak in this context, it may be best to use a descriptive phrase which will fit with the meaning of “help,” for example, “help those who need help,” or “help those who are lacking in some way.”

Ellingworth, P., & Nida, E. A. (1976). A handbook on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians (p. 119). New York: United Bible Societies.

The Joe Bayly family, in the course of several years, lost three of their children. In his book View from A Hearse, (Elgin, Ill.: Cook, 1973) Joe Bayly shared his honest feelings when one of his children died:

“I was sitting there torn by grief. Someone came and talked of God’s dealings, of why it happened, of hope beyond the grave. He talked constantly. He said things I knew were true. I was unmoved, except to wish he’d go away. He finally did.

“Another came and sat beside me. He didn’t talk. He didn’t ask me leading questions. He just sat beside me for an hour and more, listened when I said something, answered briefly, prayed simply, and left. I was moved. I was comforted. I hated to see him go.”

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 70.

Be Patient With Everyone.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

Be patient with everyone may be expressed idiomatically, for example, “speak softly to everyone,” “move slowly with everyone,” or negatively, “do not speak sharply to anyone,” or “do not shout at anyone.”

Ellingworth, P., & Nida, E. A. (1976). A handbook on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians (pp. 119–120). New York: United Bible Societies.

That is, in human relationships more is needed than simply “being patient” with others, and Paul’s word here implies that “something more,” namely that they are to be “forbearing” toward, and thus “suffering long” with regard to, others in the believing community. Furthermore, this distinction between the two words regularly rendered as “patient/patience” in English is consistent in Paul’s own usage. “Patience” (hypomon?) is needed in trying situations; “forbearance [long suffering]” is what is required in interpersonal relationships—“with everyone.”

Fee, G. D. (2009). The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians (pp. 211–212). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

F.B. Meyer once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are three things we do not know:

First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin.

Second, we do not know the power of the forces that assailed him or her.

Thirdly, we also do not know what we would have done in the same circumstances.

Conviction and compassion – it’s not a binary concept of one or the other. It is both strength of conviction and depth of compassion that will enable us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world that God has called us to be.

_____________

You are needed! Unruly folks need to hear your warnings. Feebleminded, timid, small -souled, despondent people need your comfort. Weak, immature, vulnerable people need to lean on you as you support them. Everyone needs you to be long tempered giving grace to folks who need it most. This is to be the behavior of Christians in the Midst of Crisis.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:25 PM September 17, 2020.

The Power of Prophecy

Saturday, September 5th, 2020

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Bible; Preaching; Reasoning; Witness of the Spirit / 1 Corinthians 14:23–25

Ron Freeman and several other preaching students were permitted to visit Brother G. E. Steward, a masterful preacher of the gospel, who was holding a gospel meeting in Houston, TX, in the summer of 1972. We were permitted to bring lessons at that meeting.

He was following Brother Keeble’s manner of training preacher, in many of his gospel meetings. Keeble would come up behind the younger preachers, and deliver the lesson for that evening; building on what they had presented.

Brother G. E. Steward, did the same thing, the night we visited and preached in Houston. After the meeting was over, he talked to all of us young preachers. His main comment on our presentations was: “Not enough scriptures.”

He stressed, “I heard a lot of your words; but, not enough words from the Scripture.” He continued: “Fill your sermons and preaching with the word of God. The power of our preaching is in the Word.”

Peter wrote: “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever,” Amen, 1 Peter 4:10-11; Hebrews 4:12.

The early church at Corinth struggled with noise level in church. They did not so much contend with volume as they did with a muddled and confused message. Many believers wanted to speaking tongues so badly, they misunderstood that the purpose of tongues was to communicate the gospel in a language the preacher did not understand but that the hearer did understand so that they could get saved. 1 Corinthians 14 was a treatise on the misunderstanding and misuse of this Pentecostal miracle.

While most of us do not struggle with the misunderstanding of Biblical tongues, we too become noisy and muddled in our message. Often preference, politics, and personal prejudice make up a cacophonous background din so loud, the pure word of the gospel cannot be clearly heard or understood by those who so desperately need to hear it. 

The Apostle creates a clear distinction between the noise of our puffed up proclamations and the power of the word of prophecy.

1 Corinthians 14:24–25 KJV

But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 

And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

All Believers Can Prophesy.

1 Corinthians 14:24

But if all prophesy…

Prophesy is the bold declaration of God’s revealed word.

Ezekiel 33:7–9 KJV

So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 

When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 

Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

“Thus Saith The Lord” 415 times in scriptures.

Direct Revelation has ended.

1 Corinthians 13:8–10 KJV

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

Revelation 22:18–19 KJV

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

We have all the direct revelation we need in scripture.

2 Timothy 3:16 KJV

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Prophecy in this dispensation is the bold declaration and application of God’s perfect Word. In Church, not just the preacher, or the prophet, but all can prophesy.

Unbelievers and Unlearned Will Be Convicted.

…he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest;

Convinced – convicted/ called to account

First, the unbeliever is “convicted by all, is called to account by all.” These two verbs together imply the deep probing work of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives, exposing their sins and thus calling them to account before the living God. Lying behind the word “convicted” is the OT view that one is exposed before God through the prophetic word; inherent in such “exposure” is the call to repentance,631 the summons to have one’s exposed sins confessed and forgiven by a merciful God.1

1 Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, ed. Ned B. Stonehouse et al., Revised Edition., The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2014), 760.

The word here rendered convinced (?????????) is rendered reprove in John 16:8, “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin,” &c. Its proper meaning is to convict, to show one to be wrong; and then to rebuke, reprove, admonish, &c. Here it means, evidently, that the man would be convicted, or convinced of his error and of his sin; he would see that his former opinions and practice had been wrong; he would see and acknowledge the force and truth of the Christian sentiments which should be uttered, and would acknowledge the error of his former opinions and life. The following verse shows that the apostle means something more than a mere convincing of the understanding, or a mere conviction that his opinions had been erroneous. He evidently refers to what is now known also as conviction for sin; that is, a deep sense of the depravity of the heart, of the errors and follies of the past life, accompanied with mental anxiety, distress, and alarm. The force of truth, and the appeals which should be made, and the observation of the happy effects of religion, would convince him that he was a sinner, and show him also his need of a Saviour.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: I Corinthians, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 270.

Judged / examined – producing deep self condemnation.

The second word appeared previously in this letter to describe the Corinthians’ “examination” of Paul and his apostleship (4:3–4; 9:3); it is also used in an earlier argument (2:14–15) to describe the proper sphere of activity of the “Spiritual person,” meaning something like “discern.” Perhaps there is an intended deflection by the use of this word here. Instead of “examining” Paul on their grounds/understanding of Spirit activity, they should seek to prophesy in the assembly so that the proper “examining” might take place, that of the Spirit in the heart of the unbeliever, bringing such a person to a place of repentance.1

1 Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, ed. Ned B. Stonehouse et al., Revised Edition., The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2014), 760.

1 Corinthians 2:14–15 KJV

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

Exposed – hidden things of the heart revealed, producing conviction.

And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest. Made manifest to himself in a surprising and remarkable manner. He shall be led to see the real designs and motives of his heart. His conscience would be awakened; he would recall his former course of life; he would see that it was evil; and the present state of his heart would be made known to himself. It is possible that he would suppose that the speaker was aiming directly at him, and revealing his feelings to others; for such an effect is often produced. The convicted sinner often supposes that the preacher particularly intends him, and wonders that he has such an acquaintance with his feelings and his life; and often supposes that he is designing to disclose his feelings to the congregation. It is possible that Paul here may mean that the prophets, by inspiration, would be able to reveal some secret facts in regard to the stranger; or to state the ill design which he might have had in coming into the assembly; or to state some things in regard to him which could be known only to himself; as was the case with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1, seq.); but perhaps it is better to understand this in a more general sense, as describing the proper and more common effect of truth, when it is applied by a man’s own conscience. Such effects are often witnessed now; and such effects show the truth of religion; its adaptedness to men; the omniscience and the power of God; the design of the conscience, and its use in the conversion of sinners.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: I Corinthians, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 270–271.

Hebrews 4:12 KJV

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Unbelievers and Unlearned Will Be Converted.

…and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

Fall down/ humble himself.

James 4:7 KJV

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:10 KJV

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

And so falling down on his face. The usual posture of worship or reverence in eastern countries. It was performed by sinking on the knees and hands, and then placing the face on the ground. This might be done publicly; or the apostle may mean to say that it would lead him to do it in private.

He will worship God. He will be converted, and become a Christian.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: I Corinthians, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 271.

Worship God – a Transfer of Trust.

Hebrews 6:1 KJV

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Converted persons drop all their prejudices against the people of God, and speak honourably of them. “He will report that God is in you of a truth.” Profane people treat them with contempt and scorn. But no sooner does a man come to himself, and see things as they are, than he forms a very different opinion of godly persons. He sees that they are the excellent of the earth, the children of God, and heirs of eternal glory. (G. Burder.)1

1 Joseph S. Exell, The Biblical Illustrator: I. Corinthians, vol. 2 (New York: Anson D. F. Randolph & Company, n.d.), 363.

And report that God, &c. Will become your friend, and an advocate for the Christian religion. An enemy will be turned to a friend. Doubtless this was often done. It is now often done. Paul’s argument is, that they should so conduct their public devotions as that they should be adapted to produce this result.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: I Corinthians, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 271.

_____

The preacher stood on the street corner preaching to anyone who would listen. A man approached him who looked like he had lived on the street forever. “Can I help you” asked the preacher. “I think you can” said the bum. “Would you like me to tell you about Jesus?” “No.” “Would you like me to pray for you?” “No.” “If you don’t want me to tell you about Jesus, and you don’t want me to pray with you, how can I help you?” “You can give me your Bible.” “Why would you want my Bible if you have no interest in knowing more about Jesus?” “I noticed that the pages of your Bible are very thin; I can use the pages to wrap a cigarette (or a joint).” Wisdom came suddenly to the preacher, who said, “I’ll give you the Bible, if you will agree to read a page (of the Bible) before you smoke it.” The bum agreed, took his new Bible, and left. The preacher thought he had seen the last of the bum, but he could get another Bible. Several months passed, and the preacher was on the street corner once again. A man came up to him dressed in a three piece suit. “You don’t know me, do you?” said the man. “No. I’ve never seen you in my life.” “Yes you have. I’m the man you gave a Bible to (about four months ago).” The preacher couldn’t believe his eyes and ears. “What happened? Tell me what happened.” “Well, I smoked Matthew, and then I smoked Mark, and then I smoked Luke–and then John smoked me.”

_____

To Prophesy in this dispensation is to boldly declare God’s Word, and we all can and should do it. When someone comes within our sphere of influence, they all should hear the word of God.

Lives will be reached and changed not by slick advertising but by God’s Word. Conviction and conversion comes as all, not just the preachers and teachers, proclaim boldly and clearly the truth of God’s Word. This is the Power of Prophecy.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 3:36 PM September 5, 2020.

Peace Through Mind Control

Friday, August 21st, 2020

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Isaiah 26:3 

Duke University did a study on “peace of mind.” Factors found to contribute greatly to emotional and mental stability are:

· The absence of suspicion and resentment. Nursing a grudge was a major factor in unhappiness.

· Not living in the past. An unwholesome preoccupation with old mistakes and failures leads to depression.

· Not wasting time and energy fighting conditions you cannot change. Cooperate with life, instead of trying to run away from it.

· Force yourself to stay involved with the living world. Resist the temptation to withdraw and become reclusive during periods of emotional stress.

· Refuse to indulge in self-pity when life hands you a raw deal. Accept the fact that nobody gets through life without some sorrow and misfortune.

· Cultivate the old-fashioned virtues—love, humor, compassion and loyalty

· Do not expect too much of yourself. When there is too wide a gap between self-expectation and your ability to meet the goals you have set, feelings of inadequacy are inevitable.

· Find something bigger than yourself to believe in. Self-centered egotistical people score lowest in any test for measuring happiness.

(http://www.bible.org.)

______

I love it when secular psychological studies like the one conducted by Duke discovers truth that was already in the Bible.

Isaiah 26:3

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. 

We are literally living in troubling times. Crisis calls to mental health hotlines have increased 5000 % since COVID started. Living in this sin cursed world is hard enough, but 2020 has raised the challenge and difficulty level. Today we are going to discover some principles that will help reduce our anxiety and increase our inner tranquility. This morning we will talk about peace of mind and tonight we will learn how to put our brains on a diet.

Perfect peace is possible.

Isaiah 26:3 KJV

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on thee: Because he trusteth in thee.

A. Perfect = Hebrew construction shows this to be an emphatic phrase: you can have peace, peace.

B. Peace = a sense of completeness, free from harm, absent from war in one’s inner being.

C. This peace does not need to be temporary.

Peace comes when we are reconciled with God through saving faith.

Romans 5:9–11 KJV

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 

And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

– This peace brings healing.

Isaiah 57:19 KJV

I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; And I will heal him.

– This peace transcends worldly, temporal peace.

John 14:27 KJV

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Perfect peace depends upon one’s state of mind. 

  “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,Whose mind is stayed on thee:Because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3, KJV)  

Stayed = take hold of

A. Peace comes through God’s Word.

Psalm 119:165 KJV

Great peace have they which love thy law: And nothing shall offend them.

John 16:33 KJV

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

 B. Peace comes through the renewal on one’s mind.

Romans 12:2 KJV

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2 Corinthians 10:4–5 KJV

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Perfect peace depends upon the object of your trust.

A. No Jesus, no peace – Know Jesus, know peace.

Isaiah 31:1 KJV

Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; And stay on horses, And trust in chariots, because they are many; And in horsemen, because they are very strong; But they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, Neither seek the LORD!

B. Peace comes when you trust God.

Psalm 28:7 KJV

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in him, and I am helped: Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; And with my song will I praise him.

C. Trust is demonstrated through prayer.

Philippians 4:6–7 KJV

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Jaden our son woke up one morning at 3 am. Screaming. It wasn’t a scream of “my diaper is wet” or “I am hungry.” It was a scream of despair and panic. That night he slept with us.

The next night as I was getting ready to lay him down in the crib, he latched on to me and I couldn’t get him off. I finally gave up and brought him to bed again. After about an hour I was able to put him in his crib.

The 3rd night started the same. Instead of fighting, we brought our 2 year to the living and prayed that God would give him peace of mind, comfort, God would touch Him, and that God had given us Jaden…Jaden is His child. Five minutes later, Jaden was asleep. God had given Jaden, a peace…only true peace comes from God.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 10:21 AM August 21, 2020.

The Devil You Know

Thursday, August 13th, 2020

The Devil You Know

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

2 Corinthians 2:11

 A woodpecker is a very interesting bird. The loud rat-a-tat-tat noise he makes as he drills into trees in search of bugs to eat always attracts attention. The secret of his success is simple. When a woodpecker finds a suitable tree, he begins to drill a hole. If the wood is too hard or no bugs are found, he simply moves over a bit and starts again. Over and over he continues, until he meets with success.

Satan uses temptation in much the same way. He will try one temptation on us and then if not successful will move over a bit and try another. And so he will continue, over and over again, until he finds a soft spot in us that he can use to his advantage.1368

Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 371.

______________

Satan and his demonic minions are not simply fictional subjects fit only for Halloween stories, but rather are real beings with a desire to steal, kill, and destroy. We are in spiritual battle involving the forces of light and the forces of darkness.

In our text we find some wise words by a veteran in this fight, the apostle Paul. He tells the church at Corinth that he is not ignorant, or without knowledge, about Satan’s devices. The term “devices” here refers to the strategies employed by the forces of darkness that are designed to render a believer ineffective in the battle. This morning we will briefly identify these strategies so that you, too, can know your enemy.

You Know Satan will try to deceive you

A. Satan is a liar

John 8:44 KJV

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

B. Satan is subtle

Genesis 3:1 KJV

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2 Corinthians 11:3 KJV

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

C. Satan blinds people to the truth

2 Corinthians 4:4 KJV

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Satan will try to discourage you

A. Satan is the accuser

Revelation 12:9–10 KJV

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

B. Satan promotes unforgiveness

2 Corinthians 2:5-11 – 5 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all. 6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. 7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. 8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. 9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. 10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; 11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. 

Satan will try to distract you

A. From a God-given task

Nehemiah 6:1–3 KJV

Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;) 

That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief. 

And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?

B. From a God-given responsibility

John 4:31-35 – 31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

Satan will try to discredit you

1 Corinthians 9:27 KJV

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching Temptation, Resisting

A little girl once said in response to a question about how to deal with temptation: “When Satan comes knocking at the door of my heart, I send Jesus to answer the door. When Satan sees Jesus, he says, ‘Oops, I am sorry, I must have the wrong house.’ 

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:39 AM August 13, 2020.

Plugged In and Powered Up

Friday, August 7th, 2020

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Holy Spirit; Power / Zechariah 4:6; Ephesians 5:18

Zechariah 4:6 KJV

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, Saith the LORD of hosts.

Ephesians 5:18 KJV

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Hurricane Isaias has caused quite a bit of trouble here in the North East. Tuesday over 700,000 people were without power. Cell towers did not have power so cell function was limited. Internet providers did not have power, so even if one did have power, you could not have contact with the outside world.

It was ironic… many of us own nice equipment. We have big screen TVs, smart phones, cooking appliances, lights, and all kinds of gadgets… yet without power, or without enough power, these things are useless.

Today many believers are like our gadgets have been this week. We have everything in place, but we are not empowered by a fresh flow of energy that comes from the filling of the Holy Spirit.  

There is a lot of confusion as to what the Bible teaches about the Baptism of Filling of the Holy Spirit. Too often the filling ministry and the indwelling ministry are blended together, causing doctrinal error. Let us address that first before we continue.

Every Born Again Believer This Side of Calvary is Indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

John 20:20–22 KJV

And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 

And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

1 Corinthians 3:17 KJV

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

1 Corinthians 6:19–20 KJV

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Romans 8:9 KJV

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Therefore the Indwelling Ministry is Constant.

Ephesians 4:30 KJV

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Philippians 1:6 KJV

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

The Filling of the Spirit is the Bestowing of Power with a Purpose

Luke 24:49 KJV

And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Now that we have the basic academic theology down, we must ask the question: “If we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit, how do we obey this command?” This morning we will see the biblical guidelines for Christians to experience this supernatural enduement with Holy Spirit soul winning power.

Complete obedience is a prerequisite to Holy Ghost filling

Acts 5:30–32 KJV

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 

Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 

And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

Obey the Great Commission

Matthew 28:19–20 KJV

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Baptism: the believer’s first step of obedience

Mark 16:15–16 KJV

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Keep your heart clean

Ephesians 4:30 KJV

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

We are to pray for Holy Spirit filling

God promises to answer this specific prayer

Luke 11:11–13 KJV

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 

Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Christians were filled after prayer

1. The disciples from the upper room

Acts 1:14 KJV

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

Acts 2:4 KJV

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

2. The apostle Paul

Acts 9:11 KJV

And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

Acts 9:17 KJV

And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

3. The first missionaries sent from Antioch

Acts 13:3 KJV

And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

Acts 13:9 KJV

Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,

We Are To Need The Power for a Purpose.

Acts 1:8 KJV

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Conclusion:

Ephesians 5:18 – And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 

God has commanded us as born-again believers to be filled with the Spirit. Obviously, this cannot mean indwelling, because that is His department. Peter tells us in Acts 5 that the Holy Ghost endues those who obey God. The purpose for the enduement according to Acts 1:8 is to win souls. Therefore, in order to be filled with the Spirit, we must be obedient to Jesus’ command that we preach the Gospel to every creature.

God has also told us that He will pour out His Spirit power to anyone who pleads for a fresh enduement. Let us, by the grace of God, seek to be endued with power from the

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:08 PM August 7, 2020.

Don’t Waste 2020

Friday, July 24th, 2020

Don’t Waste 2020

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

A Witness; Evangelism; Testimony; Reputation / Colossians 4:5–6

Notes
First AM Message in person since COVID 19

2020 has been an awful year in many respects. The COVID fiasco, Black Lives Matter, and lost of personal drama and problems have sent many of us reeling. I have heard folks muse… they wish they could hit a fast forward button and skip the rest of 2020 and move on to better times.

I am glad that God does not allow us to literally travel in time. You see, in spite of all the problems, God has you right here, right now, in the middle of all this mess by His perfect design.

It is tempting to just check out waiting for better times. We can’t soul win like we always did, why bother. Church is just not the same… I will wait until we get back to real normal.

Our text this morning serves as a warning that we are stewards of everything we are given… even now. On this first Sunday morning back in Church since COVID drove us to the parking lot, don’t let change ruin your heart. Don’t waste 2020!

Don’t Waste Your Relationships

Colossians 4:5 KJV
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Guard your reputation

Ephesians 5:15–16 KJV
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise
,

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

“Circumspectly” is akrib?s (???????), “exactly, accurately, carefully.” “Walk” is peripate? (?????????), “to order one’s behavior, to conduct one’s self.”

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 4, p. 126). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Romans 14:16 KJV
Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

1 Thessalonians 5:22 KJV
Abstain from all appearance of evil.

• Be wise in order to win others to Jesus

Proverbs 11:30 KJV
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; And he that winneth souls is wise.

Bud Villers was a good man. Bud was my neighbor. I grew up beside him until he died when I was in college. Bud helped my dad put a roof on our house, he assisted my dad when they poured concrete sidewalks and porches. My dad helped him put a roof on his patio. When Bud got older he would hire me to cut his grass occasionally. He usually invited me in for a glass of Coke and a piece of pie. He was always generous. I also delivered his newspaper for a couple of years. He tipped well. He was kind. He didn’t get upset if our baseball, wiffle ball or football went into his yard.

Mr. Villers was an avid fisherman. He often brought us some of his trout catch.

I don’t remember Bud talking a lot about religion when I was a kid, but it struck me that EVERY Sunday morning I saw Bud walking up the street with his Bible in hand-—rain or shine Bud walked to church with a Bible in his hand every week.

Every year he invited my younger brother and me to attend VBS at the Nutter Fort Baptist Church. Most years we didn’t go, but some years when some of my friends were going I did go. Then when I was 15 Bud invited us to church on a Sunday. I didn’t go, but my younger brother did. And the next weekend he invited us again. Again, I didn’t go but my little brother went. The same thing happened the next Sunday and the Sunday after that. My brother started going to church two or three times a week. I caught him reading the Bible a couple of times.

Months later Bud was still inviting me and I was still not interested. Then a singing group attended my school. They were college students and the girls were really pretty. They performed several songs and they told us that they were going to be at a church that evening and they wanted us to come. When I got home from school that day, Bud came over and invited my little brother and me to come to church that evening. The singers from the school were going to be there, so I went. That night I became a Christian and my life has never been the same since.

To my knowledge, Bud Villers never taught a Sunday School class, never preached a sermon, never held a position of leadership in the church. He was an usher, a faithful usher. He simply lived a life of integrity and love for God and his family and friends. And occasionally invited people to church.

If Bud was an ice cream flavor, he would be vanilla. But he would be HÄAGEN-DAZS vanilla.

(From a sermon by Quint Pitts, Uncommonly Average, 10/17/2009)

Don’t Waste Your Time

Colossians 4:5 KJV
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Know your opportunities are temporary.

Psalm 90:12 KJV
So teach us to number our days, That we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Know that the lost have an even more urgent time clock

1 Thessalonians 4:12 KJV
That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

The author is unknown.

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement shack with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning, turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it.

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whoever he was talking with something about “a thousand marbles”.

I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say. “Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter’s dance recital.”

He continued, “Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities.”

And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a “thousand marbles.”

“You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.”

“Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me Tom, I’m getting to the important part.”

“It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail”, he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy.”

“So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.”

“I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.”

“Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday, then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.”

“It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. 73 Old Man, this is K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!”

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. “C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.”

“What brought this on?” she asked with a smile. “Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids.

Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.”

Don’t Waste Your Words

Colossians 4:6 KJV
Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Psalm 40:10 KJV
I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

• Full of Grace – unmerited favor

Psalm 66:16 KJV
Come and hear, all ye that fear God, And I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

Ephesians 4:29 KJV
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

“Watch your speech. A mans command of the language is most important. Next to kissing, its the most exciting form of communication mankind has evolved.”

• Salty – make those without thirsty for Jesus

1 Peter 3:15 KJV
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

• Wise

Colossians 3:16 KJV
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:6 KJV
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:07 PM July 24, 2020.

Anywhere With Jesus

Friday, July 10th, 2020

Anywhere With Jesus

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Fear; Trust; Close; Affection / Matthew 14:22–33

A dying man was fearful, even though he was a born-again Christian. He expressed his feelings to his Christian doctor. The physician was silent, not knowing what to say. Just then a whining and scratching was heard at the door. When the doctor opened it, in bounded his big beautiful dog, who often went with him as he made house calls. The dog was glad to see his master. Sensing an opportunity to comfort his troubled patient, the doctor said, “My dog has never been in your room before, so he didn’t know what it was like in here. But he knew I was in here, and that was enough. In the same way, I’m looking forward to heaven. I don’t know much about it, but I know my Savior is there. And that’s all I need to know!”2971

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 94.

___

It seems like 2020 is the Storm that just won’t go away. The COVID fiasco, socio/economic collapse, civil unrest, and political ineptitude invade our news feed, our conversations, and even our thoughts. On top of all that, several of our folks have lost work, lost health, and buried loved ones. During storms like this it is natural to fear. We can fear the clouds we see. We can fear the possibilities of what may come next. This natural fear can paralyze us so that we freeze in place and make no move whatsoever.  

2020 has brought no shortage of things to be afraid of. We can fear the ‘Rona. We can fear getting it, or passing it on. We can fear displeasing a government official who is spewing out random rules faster than snot slinging from a sneeze. We fear the police. We fear the protesters. We fear murder hornets. And now, in case you are starting to feel better, we are supposed to fear the Black Death, bubonic plague.  

As a response, some believers have quit doing what believers are supposed to do. We have quit fellowship all together. If we do venture out we arm ourselves with every precautionary tool known to man… hand sanitizer, bleach, masks, toilet paper and fire arms.

Our passage this morning is about a storm and about two very different mindsets during the storm. On one hand we have the huddled disciples hoping the boat and their collective sailing skills will get them through. On the other hand we have a wild eyed zealot named Peter that will do anything to be with Jesus, even if it means to leave the boat. Peter could have said…

“Jesus if it is really you calm the Storm!”

But instead he asked for Jesus to ask Peter to come to Him. Peter was learning the lesson of seeking the presence of Christ. No matter the victory or the trial, no matter the prosperity or peril, no matter the calm or the storm it is always better to be anywhere with Jesus.

Storms Are Terrifying When Jesus Seems Afar Off.

This is happening right after the death of John the Baptist and the feeding of the 5000.

As soon as they were fed, Jesus hustled the disciples off into a boat while he went apart to pray. The Boat and the storm was all part of His plan. They were right were they were supposed to be even though they were in the middle of a storm.

The boat was in the midst of the sea tossed with the waves… the wind was contrary. It had to be a terrifying experience.

They had already been rescued by Jesus in a storm

Matthew 14:24–27 KJV

But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 

And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 

And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 

But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

 In the fourth watch ( 3:00 am ) they saw a figure through the lightening flashes, walking on the sea… hair and clothes blowing… but the body walking or perhaps appearing to float on top of the water… looks like a ghost

 But soon they were in a storm. Somewhere between 3 and 6 in the morning (the fourth watch of the night), Jesus joined them, walking on the lake to their boat—a distance of “three or three and a half miles” (John 6:19). His power over the elements was obvious, but there was also a lesson in faith for the disciples in this experience.1

1 Louis A. Barbieri, Jr., “Matthew,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 54.

WHEN YOU COWER IN FEAR IT IS HARD TO SEE JESUS

 • Disciples saw Jesus

 • Didn’t recognize Him

 • Jumped to worst case conclusion

 • Jesus told them not to be afraid… it was Him.

 • We have no indication that they were relieved yet.

 • If your devotion life, prayer life, and church life is slacking, Jesus will seem afar off during these storms.  

 • It will be natural to cower in the boat .

 • If you do see Jesus coming to make His way to be with you, because your heart has become distanced, you may not recognize Him right away.

 • In the absence of truth, your imagination will come up with a scary possibility rather than a sober truth.

2 Timothy 1:7 KJV

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Closeness is Better Than Calm.

Matthew 14:28 KJV

And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

 • Peter Saw and heard Jesus, but wanted confirmation it was Jesus not a demon

 • Peter said if it is you bid me come with you.

 That Jesus has authority to share with someone else his miraculous ability to walk on the water adds a further dimension to the supernatural power he has already displayed. But the focus of this story is on Peter, who displays a characteristic mixture of attitudes: he will not attempt the walk without Jesus’ direct instruction, but given that instruction he is unable to carry it through because he lacks the necessary faith. Desire to emulate Jesus’ miracle conflicts with the experienced fisherman’s realistic assessment of the risk (“when he saw the strong wind”).1

1 R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co., 2007), 570.

 • Standing for Christ is tougher during these stormy days.  

 • It is natural to cower, quake and complain.

 • Jesus may be prompting you do share the Gospel, do a ministry, increase your church commitment or some other thing. To get closer to Him may require you getting out of the boat.

Closeness Involves Risk and Reward.

Matthew 14:29 KJV

And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

WHEN YOU DESIRE TO BE WITH JESUS< YOU ARE BOLD ENOUGH TO GET OUT OF THE BOAT

 • Peter already had an established relationship with Jesus during storms

 • Peter knew if it was Jesus, he was safest with Him, even if he had to get out of the boat to be with him.

 • Peter had the faith to take the risk because the risk would bring him closer to Jesus.

 • Peter could have said if it is you, calm the storm, but instead he said, bid me come to you.  

 • Being with Jesus in the midst of the storm is better than being apart from Jesus when the storm ends.

 • Peter came out in order to be closer to Jesus, but he got his eyes off Jesus and onto the storm and began to sink.

 • He cried out and Jesus Saved Him… 

 • But he was the only one who walked on water

 • He was the only one who drew closer to Jesus during the storm

 • He was the only one to take the risk

 • He was the only one to be personally rescued

 • He was the only one to have his faith expanded by that experience.

 • Jesus could have calmed the 2020 storms.

 • He has not done so yet.

 • He is trying to show you that He not only the one that can calm the storm, He is the one that walks on water.

 • He is not only the one that walks on water, but also the One that bids you to walk on water with Him!

Closeness May Involve an Occasional Rescue.

Matthew 14:30–31 KJV

But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 

And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

 • Jesus is all about helping you grow in your faith.

 • Every storm has God’s perfect design behind it.

Romans 8:28–29 KJV

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

2 Corinthians 12:7–9 KJV

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Closeness Results in Calm

Matthew 14:32–33 KJV

And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 

Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Matthew 11:28–30 KJV

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

John 14:27 KJV

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

 • Jesus and Peter reached the ship.

 • Jesus had been heading for the ship all along

 • Jesus was planning to teach them something during the storm.

 • Once Jesus made it all the way to the ship it was calm

 • Once Jesus made it to the ship, the lesson was over

 • The lesson was not only that Jesus can calm the storm, but that Jesus doesn’t need a boat or any other human means to rescue you.

 • The lesson is that it is better to get out of the boat and take a risk with shaky faith (little faith) than to stay huddled in darkness seeing ghosts and having no faith.

 • The lesson is truly this is the Son of God

A dying man was fearful, even though he was a born-again Christian. He expressed his feelings to his Christian doctor. The physician was silent, not knowing what to say. Just then a whining and scratching was heard at the door. When the doctor opened it, in bounded his big beautiful dog, who often went with him as he made house calls. The dog was glad to see his master. Sensing an opportunity to comfort his troubled patient, the doctor said, “My dog has never been in your room before, so he didn’t know what it was like in here. But he knew I was in here, and that was enough. In the same way, I’m looking forward to heaven. I don’t know much about it, but I know my Savior is there. And that’s all I need to know!”2971

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 94.

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No matter the storms that are or that are yet to come it is always safest to be anywhere with Jesus.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:18 AM July 10, 2020.

Finding The Needle of Truth in a Haystack of Lies

Thursday, June 25th, 2020

Finding The Needle of Truth in a Haystack of Lies

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Faith; Means of Grace; Salvation; Atonement / Hebrews 11:1–4; Genesis 4:1–5

What religion are you? This question often generates thoughts of confusion and anxiety. There are so many choices. How in the world can I know which one is right. Some folks just ignore it all together, but there remains a nagging feeling that maybe they are missing something vital.

Some folks push aside the question and foolishly imagine that metaphysical truth somehow becomes relative. Find the truth that works for you. If you want to be a Muslim… great … others can choose Catholicism, others can follow paganism… whatever makes you feel best is your personal truth. Then again, there is that nagging feeling that must be suppressed… “what if I’m wrong?

In our passage this morning, the writer of Hebrews shows us that there was an ancient religious debate between the sons of Adam. Cain believed that he could connect with God by offering up the fruit of his works in the field. Able on the other hand did something that was rare and repulsive in that early post Eden period. Able offered a blood sacrifice… took the life of an innocent lamb. Remember, they did not eat animals yet. Why would Able do such a barbaric thing? Why would his religion be so cruel? And why on earth would God accept that and not Cain’s?

Hebrews 11:4 KJV

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

This morning we are going to discover that only through faith can you find the needle of truth in a haystack full of lies.

Mankind Has a Natural Hunger For God

Because He was Created in God’s Image

Genesis 1:27 KJV

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Because Sin Separated Man From God.

Genesis 2:15–17 KJV

And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Genesis 3:6–7 KJV

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Because Sin Brought Death

Romans 5:12 KJV

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 6:23 KJV

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Hebrews 9:27 KJV

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Revelation 21:8 KJV

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Therefore it was natural for man to try to get right with God again.

 If we look through a piece of red glass, everything is red. If we look through a piece of blue glass, everything is blue. If we look through a piece of yellow glass, everything is yellow, and so on.

When we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, God looks at us through the Lord Jesus Christ. He sees us in all the white holiness of his Son. Our sins are imputed to the account of Christ and his righteousness to our account

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 307.

Not All Sacrifice is Acceptable to God.

Genesis 4:1–5 KJV

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 

And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 

And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 

But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

God explained that there would be a promised deliverer.

Genesis 3:15 KJV

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

God demonstrated that this deliverance would be through shed blood of the innocent.

Genesis 3:21 KJV

Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Job 19:23–25 KJV

Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in a book! 

That they were graven with an iron pen and lead In the rock for ever! 

For I know that my redeemer liveth, And that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

Able Followed God’s Revelation of Redemption By Faith.

Hebrews 11:4 KJV

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

 The Chinese character for “righteousness” is most interesting. It is composed of two separate characters—one standing for a lamb, the other for me. When “lamb” is placed directly above “me,” a new character—“righteousness” is formed.

This is a helpful picture of the grace of God. Between me, the sinner, and God, the Holy One, there is interposed by faith the Lamb of God. By virtue of his sacrifice, he has received me on the ground of faith, and I have become righteous in his sight.11471

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 307.

Cain Followed His Own Path of Works to Impress God.

Genesis 4:5–7 KJV

But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 

And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

God did not accept it.

Ephesians 2:8–9 KJV

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Hebrews 9:14 KJV

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

God still rejects any human effort to attain Grace.

Romans 11:6 KJV

And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

James 2:10–11 KJV

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 

For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

Faith Alone in the Acceptable Sacrifice is the Needle of Truth.

Hebrews 11:1 KJV

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:4 KJV

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Hebrews 11:6 KJV

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Romans 5:1 KJV

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

John 3:16 KJV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 10:13 KJV

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Acts 16:30–31 KJV

And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

At a recent prayer meeting, I was told of a young pianist who is working on a doctor’s degree in performance. According to his professor, the young man has abilities that leave his peers far behind. To the casual listener, his mastery of the piano is both enjoyable and amazing, but to the informed listener, his mastery is nothing short of incredible. Personally, I believe his mastery of the piano is a beautiful illustration of what Biblical faith is all about.

You see, this pianist has limited hearing. He is able to hear and enjoy the notes in the lower register of the piano, but as the notes get higher, they become dimmer to his ear. There are sections of the keyboard which he never hears. Had this young pianist simply chosen to play those pieces which he can fully appreciate, he would still be outstanding. Yet this pianist has chosen to play notes that he will never hear. Those notes are validated to him by other sources: by the printed score, by the directives of his teacher and coach, by the touch of his fingertips and the sense of vibration from the instrument. By faith, he strikes each note per instruction. He does not personally sense the consequence of his actions, but his actions leave a hearing audience in awe.

Pride often prevents us from accepting and acting upon truth that we do not personally or immediately experience. Our President, in his inaugural address declared that he would like to restore science to its rightful place. I am not sure what he means, but I know that there are others in positions of authority who would like to rid science and higher learning of the reality of faith. If something cannot be demonstrated in a laboratory, it must be dismissed as harmful superstition. Anything that cannot be validated by taste, touch, smell, hearing, or sight, must not be real. Such reasoning assumes that skepticism, not faith, is the true companion of true science. This is wrong.

What exactly is faith? When one compares the contemporary Webster’s dictionary with the original, it is clear that contemporary American thinking has gutted faith of its vital organs. In Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition, 2003), faith is the “firm belief in something for which there is no proof,” or “something that is believed especially with strong conviction.” Thus faith is both anti-scientific and unreasonable.

In contrast, Noah Webster’s original dictionary (1828) declares faith to be: “Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting on his authority and veracity, without other evidence; the judgment that what another states or testifies is the truth.” Faith is not a baseless belief that you are right and everyone else is wrong; it is the ability to take someone at his word and act upon it in confidence. Faith rests in the character of the one who says, “Trust me.” If the one trusted is faithful and true, the listener can respond in confidence, like sheep following the good shepherd.

The modern concept of faith contradicts the Biblical statement: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1.” Make no mistake, the reason faith is treated in a patronizing manner today is not because science makes it irrelevant. The reason contemporary faith is weak is because we have educated ourselves away from the Person of Faith, believing that only what we immediately sense or prove is real. Some call it “societal evolution” or “progressive thinking”; the Bible calls it foolishness and reprobation (Romans 1:22-23, 28).

As with the remarkable pianist, the disciple who places his faith in the God of the Bible discovers the evidences which transcend the five senses. We have the written word of our Master, which the Apostle Peter called it a “more sure word of prophecy” that surpasses what we sense naturally. His written word says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” People who responded in belief to His word serve as examples of faith in Scriptures, American history, and even today. These modern disciples instruct us in the way of practical, contemporary faith.

According to the Bible, one of the greatest evidences of our faith today is answered prayer. It is easy for those who have been disappointed with their prayer life to reject prayer. But when God repeatedly answers in inexplicable ways, it is like the pianist sensing the sound through the vibrations from the piano.

Those who have no concept of Biblical faith reject it as nonsense and reap the consequence of their unbelief.

Biblical faith believes both in God’s existence and in His charity. He rewards those who diligently seek Him. However, few today want to accept God at His word. What about you? Do you have faith to believe in the notes which God says exist, but you cannot hear? If you do, reach out by faith today, and play the Master’s Etude of Life. It is written plainly in His Book.

John 3:16 KJV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

That is how to find the needle of truth in a haystack of lies.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:07 PM June 25, 2020.

When Daddy Loves

Friday, June 19th, 2020

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Father’s Day 2020 / Love; Father of Prodigal Son / Luke 15:11–24

Dr. Burns Jenkins was a popular preacher and writer of a generation ago. When his son went to college, Jenkins admonished him not to join a certain fraternity. This, of course, was the very fraternity young Jenkins joined. For months he lived with the secret. Then, as he spoke to a church youth group one night, he was smitten by a sense of unworthiness. Returning to his room, he wrote his father in detail of his disobedience. Two days later he received this wire: “It’s all right. I forgive you. I knew it two days after you did it. Love, Father.”1

1 G. Curtis Jones, 1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1986), 34.

____

Father’s Day is an interesting day for which to prepare a sermon. Of course those of you who have been under my preaching for a while know I grew up with a wise man who loved the Lord and taught me a lot. Some of you however either never knew your dad, or he was not someone who brings warm memories to mind. So how can I preach a Father’s Day message that will help everyone?  

One thing is for sure, although our earthly fathers will fall short, our Heavenly Father does not! in our passage this morning Jesus tells a story about an earthly father who exhibits the love of the Heavenly Father. As we study how deep a father’s love runs, let us honor and respect both our earthly and our heavenly Fathers… because powerful things happen When Daddy Loves.

When Daddy Loves, You Are A Part of the Family

Not everyone is God’s Child

John 8:44 KJV

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Believers are Adopted Upon Salvation

John 1:12 KJV

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Romans 8:15–17 KJV

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

When Daddy Loves He Allows You To Walk Away (though it breaks his heart)

Luke 15:11–14 KJV

And he said, A certain man had two sons: 

And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 

And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. 

And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

 A. Demanding an early inheritance

  1. Implied freedom

  2. Both sons were given the money

 B. Riotous living

  1. The son left almost immediately 

  2. Traveled away from parental supervision

  3. Wasted his substance

   · His money

   · His potential

· His body

   · His prime years

  4. In a far country

   · Promiscuity

   · Drugs and alcohol

   · All kinds of vices

  5. He spent everything that his father worked to give him

   · In want

   · In famine

     • Yet in all of this, he was still his father’s son

Daddy Loves When No One Else Will

 The humiliation of a broken life

Luke 15:15 KJV

And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

  1. Because of slave labour

  2. A Jewish man forced to tend pigs

 B. The desperation of a broken life

 Luke 15:16 KJV

 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

  1. No one wanted anything to do with him

  2. Hog slop became his main meal

Daddy’s Love Leads to Forgiveness and Restoration

A. He came to himself

Luke 15:17 KJV

And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

Galatians 6:7–9 KJV

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

B. He never dreamed he could come home as a son, but perhaps as a slave

Luke 15:18–19 KJV

I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 

And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

  1. Recognize his sin

  2. Come in broken humility

 C. He was restored

  1. Daddy was watching

Luke 15:20 KJV

And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 

Zechariah 1:3 KJV

Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, And I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.

2. Confession

Luke 15:21 KJV

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

3. His father stopped Him in Mid Sentence and fully restored his position with him.

Luke 15:22 KJV

But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

The best robe in the house would belong to the father himself. The ring would probably be a family signet ring—a symbol of reinstatement to sonship in a well-to-do house. Slaves did not normally wear sandals, though they carried and tied a master’s sandals. The father is saying, “No, I won’t receive you back as a servant. I’ll receive you only as a son.”1

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Lk 15:21–22.

put a ring on his finger Indicative of sonship and the ability to approve transactions on behalf of his father.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Lk 15:22.

4. Celebration

Luke 15:23-24

23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. 

The calf would be enough to feed the whole village; this would be a big party! Aristocratic families often invited the whole town to a banquet when a son attained adulthood (about thirteen years old) or a child married.1

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Lk 15:23.

Conclusion:

A man who was commissioned to paint a picture of the Prodigal Son. He went into his work fervently, laboring to produce a picture worthy of telling the story. Finally, the day came when the picture was complete, and he unveiled the finished painting. The scene was set outside the father’s house, and showed the open arms of each as they were just about to meet and embrace. The man who commissioned the work was well pleased, and was prepared to pay the painter for his work, when he suddenly noticed a detail that he had missed.

Standing out in the painting above everything else in the scene, was the starkly apparent fact that the father was wearing one red shoe and one blue shoe. He was incredulous. How could this be, that the painter could make such an error? He asked the painter, and the man simply smiled and nodded, assuring the man, “Yes, this is a beautiful representation of the love of God for His children.”

“What do you mean?” he asked, puzzled.

“The father in this picture was not interested in being color-coordinated or fashion-conscious when he went out to meet his son. In fact, he was in such a hurry to show his love to his son, he simply reached and grabbed the nearest two shoes that he could find.

“He is the God of the Unmatched Shoes.” 2

When you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are adopted into the family of God, and God is your Heavenly Father. There is no limit to the Father’s love. Our Daddy’s Love Allows You to walk away even when it breaks His heart. Out Daddy loves you when no one else will.  He is looking down the road, waiting to see you heading home. He will come to meet you and celebrate your return. That’s what happens when Daddy Loves!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:22 AM June 19, 2020.