Archive for the ‘Sunday Morning Sermons’ Category

The Long Awaited Wedding

Saturday, October 5th, 2019

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community / Marriage of the Lamb; Bride of Christ; Victory / Revelation 19:4–9

A young boy was waiting after church for his family. The pastor saw him standing around and struck up a conversation. Since the boy had just come from Sunday school, the pastor decided to ask him some questions to determine just how much the children were learning there. He said, “Young man, if you can tell me something that God can do, I’ll give you a big shiny apple.” Thoughtfully the boy replied, “Sir, if you can tell me something God can’t do, I’ll give you a whole box of apples.”

Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 170.

As we conclude our series entitled Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of the Christian Community, we must cast our eyes on the end game.  We serve an Almighty God!  We serve a victorious God!  We serve on the winning side!  Yes we fight the world, the flesh , and the devil every day, but one day the trumpet will sound, our Savior will split the Eastern sky, we who are saved will be changed, and Jesus our Savior will ultimately claim the throne that is rightfully His.  The ground lost at the garden of Eden will be reclaimed, the Devil will be banished and we will reign with our Savior.

Jesus tells that His relationship with the universal church, which will have her charter meeting in the clouds at the rapture, is like the relationship between the groom and the Bride.  After the rapture as as the Kingdom is established, there will be a wedding… the long awaited union between the Church and her Husband, Jesus Christ.  As we fight through the sadness and setbacks in this world,  let us keep our minds on that blessed day when we will be a part of the long awaited Wedding between Jesus and the Church.

We Will See That the Lord Omnipotent Reigns!

Revelation 19:4 KJV

And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

Revelation 19:5 KJV

And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

Revelation 19:6 KJV

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

•    This is after the greatest persecution believers have ever endured.

•    This is after the Beast made most of mankind doubt God’s goodness and strength.

•    This is after Babylon the Great fell.

•    This is as the Beast and the Devil were about to fall.

•    This is just before the Kingdom is ushered in.

???????????, ???? m (a title for God, literally ‘all powerful’)—‘the Almighty, the One who has all power.’ 1

The Lord God Omnipotent Reigns!

????????b: … to be in control in an absolute manner—‘to reign, to control completely.  – Louw/ Nida

Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 473.

Revelation 11:15 KJV

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

We Will See that the Bride Made Herself Ready!

Revelation 19:7 KJV

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

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:

Whatever the Bride becomes, Jesus made her that way!

Ephesians 5:25 KJV

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Ephesians 5:26 KJV

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Ephesians 5:27 KJV

That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

 Joni Eareckson Tada, who since a diving accident as a teenager has lived from a wheelchair, wrote about the day of her wedding: “I felt awkward as my girlfriends strained to shift my paralyzed body into a cumbersome wedding gown. No amount of corseting and binding my body gave me a good shape. The dress just didn’t fit. Then, as I was wheeling into the church, I glanced down and noticed that I’d accidentally run over the hem of the dress, leaving a greasy tire mark. My paralyzed hands couldn’t hold the bouquet of daisies that lay off center on my lap. And my chair, though decorated for the wedding, was still a big, clunky gray machine with belts, gears, and ball bearings. I certainly didn’t feel like the picture perfect bride in a bridal magazine. I inched my chair closer to the last pew to catch a glimpse of Ken in front. There he was, standing tall and stately in his formal attire. I saw him looking for me, craning his neck to look up the aisle. My face flushed, and I suddenly couldn’t wait to be with him. I had seen my beloved. The love in Ken’s face had washed away all my feelings of unworthiness. I was his ‘radiant’ bride. How easy for us to think that we’re utterly unlovely- especially to someone as lovely as Christ. But he loves us with the bright eyes of a Bridegroom’s love and cannot wait for the day we are united with him forever.”

We Will See the Bride Has Been Given A Beautiful White Dress

Revelation 19:8 KJV

And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Revelation 19:9 KJV

And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

After all the struggles, stumbles, and even falls, the Bride is Holy complete and spotless.  Just as we were destined to be!

Romans 8:29 KJV

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.

1 Corinthians 6:9 KJV

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1 Corinthians 6:10 KJV

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:11 KJV

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

The Holy Bride is the result of God’s Handiwork.

Philippians 2:13 KJV

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

We struggle, fight and sometimes fail now, but keep your eyes of faith pealed on the Sky… someday our Groom will come!  Someday  We will be changed, sinless and glorified.  Someday believers on this side of Calvary will be in that Long Awaited wedding.  Are you prepared?

Charles Spurgeon said, “Climb ye up to heaven, and behold the snow-white host, glittering like the sun in spotless purity. I ask them whence came they? The reply is that they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. It is most true that Jesus saves his people from their sins–earth knows it, hell howls at it, and heaven chants it; time has seen it, and eternity shall reveal it. There is none like to Jesus in saving power. All glory be to him! When he shall come from heaven with a shout, and all his hosts shall be with him, when the day of the supper of the Lamb shall come, and the bride hath made herself ready, and she that is the queen all glorious within, wearing her raiment of wrought gold, shall sit down at the table of God with her glorious husband then shall it be seen that he has saved his church, his people, from their sins.”

How To Behave In Church

Friday, September 13th, 2019

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Uncomfortable:  The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community / Pride; Humility; Church: Fellowship and Unity / Mark 8:34

Often when we see children acting childish in church, sometimes the thought crosses our minds, “someone should teach those children how to behave in church.”  But wait a minute… has anyone taught us how we are to behave in church?  Sure, we dutifully sit quietly, keep to ourselves, speak when spoken to, smile and then leave.  Any interaction is with our circle of friends and acquaintances.

As we continue meditating on our series: “Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community”, we should ask ourselves how Jesus wants us to behave in church.  Our passage this morning gives a simple outline of how we as His disciples are to behave, and certainly it applies to how we are to behave in church.  If we apply these simple life principles in church, we will thrive as a group, and become less disgruntled as individuals.

Whosoever will come after Me. “Will” is thel? (????) “to desire.” It is “Whosoever desires to come after Me.” “Come” is erchomai (???????). The word is used in John 5:40 where our Lord speaks of the fact that certain will not come to Him that they might have life. The word is used here in the sense of becoming a disciple of Jesus, one who follows His instruction and enters into His fellowship. Likewise, to come after Jesus means to become His disciple, follow His teachings, and enter into His fellowship.

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader

Deny Yourself

Mark 8:34 KJV

And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Let him deny himself. The word is aparneomai (??????????). When used with the reflexive pronoun as it is here, it means “to forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s interests.” The verb is ingressive aorist, speaking of entrance into a new state or condition. It is “Let him at once begin to lose sight of himself and his own interests.”

Negatively, one must deny himself decisively (“deny” is an aorist imper.) saying no to selfish interests and earthly securities. Self-denial is not to deny one’s personality, to die as a martyr, or to deny “things” (as in asceticism). Rather it is the denial of “self,” turning away from the idolatry of self-centeredness and every attempt to orient one’s life by the dictates of self-interest (cf. tdnt, s.v. “arneomai,” 1:469–71). Self-denial, however, is only the negative side of the picture and is not done for its own sake alone.

Grassmick, J. D. (1985). Mark. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 141). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Romans 15:1 KJV

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Romans 15:2 KJV

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

Romans 15:3 KJV

For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

Philippians 2:3 KJV

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Philippians 2:4 KJV

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

1000 Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching Beyond Self

During the early days of the Confederacy, Robert E. Lee was severely criticized by General W. H. C. Whiting. Most persons would have retaliated. One day, President Jefferson Davis invited General Lee to share with him his appraisal of General Whiting. The noble Virginian commended Whiting in highest terms. Whereupon, an officer took General Lee aside to remind him of General Whiting’s verbiage against him. To which Lee replied: “I understood that the President desired to know my opinion of Whiting, not Whiting’s opinion of me.”

Take Up Your Cross

Mark 8:34 KJV

And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Cross-bearing was not an established Jewish metaphor. But the figure was appropriate in Roman-occupied Palestine. It brought to mind the sight of a condemned man who was forced to demonstrate his submission to Rome by carrying part of his cross through the city to his place of execution. Thus “to take up one’s cross” was to demonstrate publicly one’s submission/obedience to the authority against which he had previously rebelled.

Jesus’ submission to God’s will is the proper response to God’s claims over self’s claims. For Him it meant death on the cross. Those who follow Him must take up their (not His) cross, whatever comes to them in God’s will as a follower of Jesus. This does not mean suffering as He did or being crucified as He was. Nor does it mean stoically bearing life’s troubles. Rather, it is obedience to God’s will as revealed in His Word, accepting the consequences without reservations for Jesus’ sake and the gospel (cf. 8:35). For some this includes physical suffering and even death, as history has demonstrated.

1 Corinthians 9:16 KJV

For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

1 Timothy 1:15 KJV

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

John 9:25 KJV

He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.

1000 Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching Call Me Eccentric


When narcotic detectives raided a loft apartment in a depressed neighborhood in New York City, their eyes and hearts were shockingly opened. The dark corridors and dingy rooms were crowded with twisted, ill-fed, and ill-clothed derelicts. Out of this human scrap heap, the police arrested six men for carrying hypodermic needles and heroin. Apprehensive of the host of this heterogenous company, the detectives charged him with harboring drug addicts.
At police headquarters, the meek-looking and mild-mannered man claimed that he had chosen to live among these people to provide them with food, shelter, and clothing. His door was open to all. He did not realize he was breaking the law in extending compassion. Investigation revealed that the operator of this strange hostel was neither a vagrant nor a drug habitue. The dedicated man turned out to be John Sargent Cram, a millionaire, who had been educated at Princeton and Oxford. To avoid the “rigmarole” of organized charity, he had moved into the undesirable neighborhood and had gone to work.
After his trial and acquittal, Cram was admonished not to take in drug addicts. Later he said to a reporter, “I don’t know if my work does any good, but I don’t think it does any harm.… I’m quite happy, you know. I am anything but a despondent person. Call me eccentric. Call it my reason for being. I have no other!”


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Follow Jesus

Mark 8:34 KJV

And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

In Jesus’ words, Follow Me, “follow” is a present imperative: “(So) let him keep following Me.

Luke 9:23 KJV

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Follow Me. The word “follow” is akolouthe? (?????????) “to take the same road as another does.” It is used with the associative instrumental case. It is, “Let him follow with Me.” The idea is not that of following behind another, but that of accompanying the other person, taking the same road that he takes and fellowshipping with him along that road. The first two imperatives are aorist, giving a summary command to be obeyed at once. The “coming after” and the “taking up” are to be obeyed at once and are to be a once-for-all act. That is, these acts are to be looked upon as a permanent attitude and practice of life. The whole life is to be characterized by an habitual coming after and taking up of the cross. After having once for all given over the life to the Lord, the believer must hence-forward count it ever so given over. He is not his own anymore. He belongs to the Lord. He is the Lord’s property. The word “follow” however, is in the present imperative, which commands the doing of an action and its habitual, moment by moment continuance. The first two imperatives give direction to the life. The last speaks of the actual living of that which has been given direction by two once-for-all acts.

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Mk 8:34). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

1 John 3:16 KJV

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers and Writers 698: Surrender


In The Wonderful Spirit Filled Life, Charles Stanley writes:

  In water-safety courses a cardinal rule is never to swim out to a drowning man and try to help him as long as he is thrashing about. To do so is to commit suicide. As long as a drowning man thinks he can help himself, he is dangerous to anyone who tries to help him. His tendency is to grab the one trying to aid him and take them both down in the process. The correct procedure is to stay just far enough away so that he can’t grab you. Then you wait. And when he finally gives up, you make your move. At that point the one drowning is pliable. He won’t work against you. He will let you help.

The same principle holds true in our relationship with the Holy Spirit. Until we give up, we aren’t really in a position to be helped. We will work against him rather than with him.

A Peculiar People

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Uncomfortable:  The Awkward and Essential Challenge of the Christian Community / Adoption; Regeneration; Election; Church: Nature / 1 Peter 2:6–9

Church attendance is commanded by scriptures.  It is part of God’s design for those who have been saved by Grace.  Jesus built the church, the called out assembly, because we not only need Jesus, we need each other.  Fellowship is not always natural.  Some folks are odd.  Some are awkward.  Some are not as mature as others.  Some are judgmental or even hypocritical.  How can I be expected to be involved with folks like that?

Today we are beginning a series entitled “Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of the Christian Community.”  We will be discovering what God had in mind when He prescribed fellowship with other recovering sinners as a key for us to also recover from our sin and become more like Christ.

The church is not:

* An ark for the saving of a select few.

* A ferryboat to take effortless passengers to the shores of heaven.

* A life insurance company, with no obligation on policy holders except the payment of a small annual premium.

* A social set, welcoming certain people and excluding others from its fellowship.

* A Sunday pleasure club for the providing of pleasant occupation on the day of rest.

The church is:

* A lifeboat for the rescue of sin-wrecked and perishing souls.

* A family, in which love and service are expected from each member to each member.

* An organized community, with constant activities and continual growth and development.

* A company of believers who have found the one way of life and obey the one Lord of life.

* A union of those who love for the benefit of those who suffer.

* A center of social worship, in which the spiritual life of each is helped by the spiritual life of his fellow.

* The representative — the “body” — of Jesus Christ on the earth, reflecting his spirit and controlled by his will.

True members of the church are blood bought saved sinners who have been adopted into the same royal family.  When we come together to fellowship, we are gathering with folks, although diverse in culture and personalities, are bound together as brothers and sisters in Christ.  According to our text this morning one of the most compelling reasons for us to be intimately involved in Christian fellowship is that in Christ we are all peculiar people.

Who  Are You People?

1 Peter 2:9 KJV

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

chosen generation

›    show chosen wheel

eklego (?????????, 1586), “to pick out, select,” means, in the middle voice, “to choose for oneself,” not necessarily implying the rejection of what is not chosen, but “choosing” with the subsidiary ideas of kindness or favor or love1

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 100.

“Generation” is from a Greek word meaning “a race, a body with a common life and descent.” It does not mean here a group of individuals living within the span of a lifetime.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 56.  

royal priesthood

Revelation 1:5 KJV

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Revelation 1:6 KJV

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

›    show royal Lowe Nida

The word “royal” is the translation of the Greek word for “king.” The Levitical priesthood were only priests. Believers in this dispensation are king-priests, associated with the Lord Jesus who is a priest after the order of Melchisedec, a king-priest.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 56.

Didymus the Blind: Under the old dispensation, the priesthood and the kingship were two different things. No one could be both a king and a priest. But afterwards came the gospel, which united these two offices in Christ. From this it follows that the people whom he has chosen will be both royal and priestly at the same time. Some people wonder how it is possible, seeing that we are called from all the nations on earth, for us to be regarded as one holy people. The answer to this is that although we are from many different nations, the fact that we have all repented of our sins and accepted a common will and a common mind gives those who have repented one doctrine and one faith. When there is a soul and heart common to all believers, then they are called one people. Commentary on 1 Peter.1

1 Gerald Bray, ed., James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 87.

holy nation

The word “holy” in the Greek text means literally “set apart for the service of Deity.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 56.

›    show Holy wheel

Deuteronomy 7:6 KJV

For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

peculiar people

The word “peculiar” here is used in a way not often seen today. The Greek word means literally “to make around,” that is, to make something and then to surround it with a circle, thus indicating ownership. The same verb is used in the Septuagint translation of Isaiah 43:21 which reads, “This people have I formed for myself.” The word “peculiar” today usually means “odd, strange.” But it is not so used here. The Greek word speaks of the unique, private, personal ownership of the saints by God. Each saint is God’s unique possession just as if that saint were the only human being in existence.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 56–57.

What Should You People Be Doing?

…that ye should shew forth the praises…

•    Show forth praises.

The words “show forth” in the Greek text refer to a spoken message.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 57.

•    These praises should be directed to the One who called you.

The word “praises” is not the translation of the Greek word customarily used to indicate praise, but of one which means “excellencies, gracious dealings, glorious attributes.” 1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 57.

Why Should You People Be Doing It?

Ephesians 5:8 KJV

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

•    You were called out of darkness.

•    You were called into His light. 

The word “into” refers here not merely to locality, but to a result, that of the saints being participants of the light that God is in His nature. We are made creatures of light.

Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 57.

It can be uncomfortable form time to time to come to church and be confronted with people who have different tastes than we do, have been raised in different cultures, or are at different stages of Christian maturity than we are.  One thing we should know.  If you are saved and they are saved, you both are part of a chosen generation, both part of a royal priesthood, both part of an holy, set apart nation, and you are both peculiar, or owned by God.  Therefore let us unite shoulder to shoulder declaring public praise for the God that redeemed and united us ,  Let us unite as we let the light shine in us that called us both out of darkness.  After all, we are all peculiar people.

Single But Not Second Class

Friday, June 7th, 2019

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

The Let Down / Singleness; Loneliness / Psalm 145:14–21; 1 Corinthians 7:25–40

One of the scariest possibilities for some people is that they will be cursed to be single for their whole life.  Does God have a place for single believers?  Is it a curse?  The answer to surviving singleness lies not on trying to do what it takes, what ever it takes to end the single state, but rather to focus upon surrendering to the God who allowed you to be in this situation in the first place.  You are single, but not second class.

Satan’s worldwide convention:

Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his devils, he said, “We can’t keep Christians from going to church. We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship with Jesus. Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So, let them go to their churches, let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time, so they can’t gain that relationship with Jesus. This is what I want you to do. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!”

“How shall we do this?” shouted the devils. “Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds. Tempt them to spend, spend, spend and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6 to 7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children.

As their family fragments, soon, their home will offer no escape from the pressures of work! Over stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. Entice them to play the radio or CD player whenever they drive. To keep the TV, VCR, DVD, PC, Game Boy, and their XBoxes going constantly in their home. See to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam minds and break that union with Christ.

Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, catalogs, sweepstakes and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes.

Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines so their husbands will believe that external beauty is what’s important and they’ll become dissatisfied with their wives. That will fragment those families quickly!

Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation, exhausted, disquieted and unprepared for the coming week. Don’t let them go out in nature to reflect on God’s wonders. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts and movies instead.

Keep them busy, busy, busy! And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled conscience and unsettled emotions. Go ahead, let them be involved in soul winning; but crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Jesus.

Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause. It will work! It will work!

It was quite a convention. The devils went eagerly to their assignments, causing Christians everywhere to get busy and be more rushed than ever before. I guess the question is: Has Satan been successful at his scheme?

1 Corinthians 7:33 KJV 1900

But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:34 KJV 1900

There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:35 KJV 1900

And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

As we continue our series “The Letdown: When People Disappoint You”, we are going to focus for a few minutes on the subject of singleness. Some folks are single  because they are not yet ready to marry.  Some because they are old enough and stable enough, but have not found a relationship that held together long enough to make that commitment.  Some folks are single because they did get married, but for one reason or another the marriage did not last.  There are others that are married, but their spouse has become invalid and so they care for them as a good spouse would, but their heart aches like a lonely single person would.

 One of the scariest possibilities for some people is that they will be cursed to be single for their whole life.  Does God have a place for single believers?  Is it a curse?  The answer to surviving singleness lies not on trying to do what it takes, what ever it takes to end the single state, but rather to focus upon surrendering to the God who allowed you to be in this situation in the first place. 

Rather than focusing on the tragedy of our singleness and how unfair it is that though we try and try, we are still alone… we need to focus on the Character of God.  In Psalm 145, the Psalmist David gives us some unchangeable truths upon which we should meditate in order to align our thinking and our wills with the apparent providential will of God.  You are single, but not second class and God has a purpose for you right now.

The Lord Will Help You To Your Feet.

Psalm 145:14 KJV 1900

The Lord upholdeth all that fall,

And raiseth up all those that be bowed down.

•    Those who fall – perhaps singleness has come because you have stumbled in your walk with the Lord… this condition need not label your life.  God can cause you to rise up again.

The Lord upholdeth all that fall. The word here used is a participle, literally, “The Lord sustaining;” that is, the Lord is a Sustainer or Upholder of all that fall. The allusion is to those who have no power to go of themselves; who would sink under the burdens of life if they were not supported. The idea is, that it is a characteristic of the Lord, that he does sustain such; that all such may confidently look to him to uphold them.  Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 3 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 322.

Proverbs 24:16 KJV 1900

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:

But the wicked shall fall into mischief.

•    Those who bow down – those bending under a tremendous burden… perhaps that burden is loneliness and unfulfilled desire.

And raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The word here also is a participle: “he is lifting up;” that is, he is a lifter up. The reference is to those who are bent and bowed under the duties, the cares, the trials of life; who go bowed down under those burdens. God is able to strengthen them so that they can bear those burdens without being crushed under them.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 3 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 322.

•    The Lord will provide the sustenance you need.

•    The Lord will open His hand of provision

Psalm 145:15 KJV 1900

The eyes of all wait upon thee;

And thou givest them their meat in due season.

Psalm 145:16 KJV 1900

Thou openest thine hand,

And satisfiest the desire of every living thing.

The Lord Is Righteous in His Dealings.

Psalm 145:17 KJV 1900

The Lord is righteous in all his ways,

And holy in all his works.

•    What ever state you find yourself in, God has not been unfair to you.

•    There may be things you do not yet understand.

Isaiah 55:8 KJV 1900

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

Neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

Isaiah 55:9 KJV 1900

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are my ways higher than your ways,

And my thoughts than your thoughts.

•    There be some things that you need to surrender to.

Psalm 37:4 KJV 1900

Delight thyself also in the Lord;

And he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Proverbs 3:5–6 KJV 1900

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;

And lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him,

And he shall direct thy paths.

•    It is all a part of His providential plan.

Romans 8:29 KJV 1900

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.

In How Life Imitates the World Series, Dave Bosewell tells a story about Earl Weaver, former manager of the Baltimore Orioles. Sports fans will enjoy how he handled star Reggie Jackson.

Weaver had a rule that no one could steal a base unless given the steal sign. This upset Jackson because he felt he knew the pitchers and catchers well enough to judge who he could and could not steal off of. So one game he decided to steal without a sign.

He got a good jump off the pitcher and easily beat the throw to second base. As he shook the dirt off his uniform, Jackson smiled with delight, feeling he had vindicated his judgment to his manager.

Later Weaver took Jackson aside and explained why he hadn’t given the steal sign. First, the next batter was Lee May, his best power hitter other than Jackson. When Jackson stole second, first base was left open, so the other team walked May intentionally, taking the bat out of his hands.

Second, the following batter hadn’t been strong against that pitcher, so Weaver felt he had to send up a pinch hitter to try to drive in the men on base. That left Weaver without bench strength later in the game when he needed it.

The problem was, Jackson saw only his relationship to the pitcher and catcher. Weaver was watching the whole game. We, too, see only so far, but God sees the bigger picture. When he sends us a signal, it’s wise to obey, no matter what we may think WE know.

The Lord Is Near Them That Call On Him

Psalm 145:18 KJV 1900

The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him,

To all that call upon him in truth.

•    Those that call on Him in truth

To all that call upon him in truth. In sincerity; not hypocritically; worshipping him as the true God, and with a sincere desire to obtain his favour. Comp. Notes on John 4:24. We can have no hope that God will hear us unless we are sincere in our worship. He sees the heart, and he will act towards us as we are, and not as we profess to be.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 3 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 323–324.

•    Those that call with a broken heart.

Psalm 34:18 KJV 1900

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;

And saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

•    The Lord will preserve them

Psalm 145:20–21 KJV 1900

The Lord preserveth all them that love him:

But all the wicked will he destroy.

My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord:

And let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

Serve God because you are single, not in spite of it!

1 Corinthians 7:20 KJV 1900

Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

1 Corinthians 7:21 KJV 1900

Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.

1 Corinthians 7:22 KJV 1900

For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.

1 Corinthians 7:23 KJV 1900

Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

1 Corinthians 7:24 KJV 1900

Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

A little girl walking in a garden noticed a particularly beautiful flower. She admired its beauty and enjoyed its fragrance. “It’s so pretty!” she exclaimed. As she gazed on it, her eyes followed the stem down to the soil in which it grew. “This flower is too pretty to be planted in such dirt!” she cried. So she pulled it up by its roots and ran to the water faucet to wash away the soil. It wasn’t long until the flower wilted and died.

When the gardener saw what the little girl had done, he exclaimed, “You have destroyed my finest plant!”

“I’m sorry, but I didn’t like it in that dirt,” she said. The gardener replied, “I chose that spot and mixed the soil because I knew that only there could it grow to be a beautiful flower.”

Often we murmur because of the circumstances into which God has sovereignly placed us. We fail to realize that He is using our pressures, trials, and difficulties to bring us to a new degree of spiritual beauty. Singleness is an opportunity, not a curse.  You are a chosen servant of God, not a second class citizen.

The DNA of Our Mission

Sunday, April 7th, 2019

The DNA of Our Mission

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

DNA – The Core of the Local Church / Evangelism; Discipleship / Matthew 28:18–20

Today we launch a new sermon series:  DNA – The Core of the Local Church.  DNA is the genetic code that determines the core makeup of a living creatures.  The DNA will determine color of eyes, hair, and skin.  Every major aspect of how a creature is put together is determined by the DNA code.  It is the blueprint to how we are made and how we are designed to function.

In the next several weeks we will be studying the organism known as the Local Church.  The Bible teaches us that the Local Church is the physical manifestation of the Body of Christ here on earth.  She is a living organism.  In the next few weeks we will look at how the church is designed and how it is supposed to function.  We will examine her DNA and discover the core of the Local Church.

In our passage this morning, the church that Christ started was assembled. Jesus would soon be ascending back to the Father. Today’s passage contains the marching orders for the Church that Christ built. He told those apprehensive leaders that His power would be with them. He then gave the blueprint that every local church is to follow. These orders are known as “The Great Commission”.

A pastor once told the story of an experience he’d had with his dad, a skilled contractor and carpenter. One day, when he was a teenager, his father asked him to come to work and build houses with him. The boy replied, “But Dad, I don’t know anything about building houses.” At that, his father said, “That’s okay son. I know how to build houses; I just need you to bring me the wood.”

Often God’s people become discouraged because they have an inaccurate perception of their responsibilities. Many folks are fixated upon the need to grow the numbers of the local assembly. Today we will study the Great Commission and together we will discover what is part of this commandment and what is not.

I. Our Mission is Not:

A mandate to force people into a profession of faith

1. We are not responsible for our hearers’ response to the message

Ezekiel 33:7 KJV 1900

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.

Ezekiel 33:8 KJV 1900

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.

Ezekiel 33:9 KJV 1900

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.

2. The sinner’s prayer does not save – true faith behind that prayer saves

Romans 10:13 KJV 1900

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

Romans 10:14 KJV 1900

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

 A mandate to build the membership of the church

Matthew 16:18 KJV 1900

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

II. The Great Commission is:

 A mandate to go

Matthew 28:19 KJV 1900

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

1. Because you are being sent by Christ’s mighty power

Matthew 28:18 KJV 1900

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

2. Go to the whole world

Mark 16:15 KJV 1900

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

Acts 1:8 KJV 1900

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.

A mandate to make disciples

1. Lead them to Christ

a. They will receive saving faith after hearing the Word of God

Romans 10:17 KJV 1900

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

b. This must be a life priority

John 4:35 KJV 1900

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.

1 Corinthians 9:19-22 – 19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

2. Baptize them

Romans 6:3-4 – 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Acts 2:41 KJV 1900

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Acts 8:36-38 – 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Acts 16:31-33 – 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

3. Teach them = “to give instruction”

Deuteronomy 5:32-33 – 32 Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. 33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

Acts 2:42 – And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

2 Timothy 2:2 KJV 1900

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

Conclusion:

A proper understanding of the Great Commission will affect the emphasis and philosophy of every ministry in the church. Instead of asking the question, “Will this help us gain members?” we are to ask, “Will this help us go, evangelize, baptize, and teach people?”

The Delusion of Isolation

Saturday, January 12th, 2019

1 Kings 19:1–19

Often we are most tempted to give up and give in when we believe everyone else already has.  We must remember that God always reserves a remnant of believers to follow him.  You are not alone!

Tom Hanks is a gifted actor.  I have seen him play a diverse type of characters over the years, and in every role he turns in an impressive performance.  One of my favorite examples of his acting skills is the movie Castaway.  By the way, I cant believe that it is a 19 year old movie!  For over an hour Tom Hanks is alone with no other actors.  He portrays a Fed Ex man whose plane went down in the Caribbean.  He was able to get to a deserted island and he was forced to survive for 4 years before we was eventually rescued.  The movie shows how man was not meant to be alone.   The agony of loneliness was vividly portrayed by this masterful actor.

Loneliness is one of the greatest tools in the Devil’s arsenal.  With this weapon he causes many strong men to become weak, afraid, faint, even to the point of death.

Last week we saw that folks become discouraged when they confuse Karma with Grace.  They get bitter at God when they mistakenly think that He has mistreated them by not giving them what they deserved.  We discovered that Grace actually deliver us from what we deserve and gives us what we don’t deserve.

This week as we continue our series on Failing Faith, we will look at another tool Satan uses to destroy believers. As we consider the tactics of our enemy, we must remember that nothing can separate us from the love of God.  As believers, we can never be alone.  So the only thing Satan can do is to try to deceive us with the illusion of isolation.

Elijah had just gone through an epic spiritual battle.  The people of Israel were being seduced by the false god, BAAL.  The prophet prayed that it would not rain for three and a half years.  He had a show down asking for the real God to rain down fire on the altar they prepared.  Baal failed, Jehovah God did not!  The scorched soot stained spot on the ground stood as a testimony that the real God answered with fire!  After that the drought ended.  450 prophets of Baal were killed.  Rain came!  Victory was sweet…. but there was a counter attack.   Elijah was made blinded by the delusion of isolation.

I Feel All Alone and Ashamed – I Failed to Make A Difference.

1 Kings 19:4 KJV 1900

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

•    After great spiritual victory we are often vulnerable to the greatest spiritual attack.

•    Elijah expected a nation wide revival after such a great demonstration of God’s power… instead the queen had vowed to destroy him in 24 hours. 

•    After 3 1/2 years of struggle and after the showdown with the prophets of Baal, he thought it must be over… but apparently it was not.

•    Elijah ran to Beersheba in the extreme southern part of Judah… about 103 miles.

•    He was disappointed, exhausted, and spent.

•    In a moment of human weakness he longed for death.

•    He did not dare take his own life.

•    He did tell God he had had enough.

•    That all came from a belief that he was no better than his fathers… he was no more effective in ridding the land of Baal idolatry than they were.  Since he was a failure, there was no reason to continue.

•    An angel came to feed him and prepare him for a journey.  200 miles to the same Mount where Moses met God.

•    There was still more for Elijah to do.

God still sends His messengers today – pastors… leaders.. friends

•    Take your rest

•    Take your food

•    There is still a journey ahead of you…. God is not done with you.

I Feel All Alone and Afraid- Everyone is Against Me

1 Kings 19:9 KJV 1900

And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

1 Kings 19:10 KJV 1900

And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

•    Elijah was directed to the mount of God, not to the cave or fear and isolation.

•    This time God’s voice came, not just His messenger.

•    The revelation was a question:  “What are you doing here?”

•    I have been jealous for God

•    Israel has turned from Your covenant

•    Israel has thrown down your altars

•    The prophets have been killed

•    I am the only one left.

Are you in a cave of isolation rather than meeting with God?

•    You feel like you are the only believer truly standing

•    Our church is the only one without compromise.

•    When directed to the place to meet God (church) you are curled up isolated in your mind and heart, not talking to anyone or open to any intervention….God gives you the same command as He gave Elijah… stand upon the mount before the Lord.

King James Version Chapter 19

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.

I Feel Alone and I am Wrong- I AM NOT ALONE

•    God can reveal Himself in many different ways, but He is tenderest when we need that the most.

And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind:

•    Sometimes God is seen in the midst of storms and tempest… not this time

King James Version Chapter 19

and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake

•    Sometimes God is seen in the midst of instability and crumbling foundations… but not this time

King James Version Chapter 19

And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire:

•    Sometimes God is seen in fiery trials that burn the impurities out of our lives… but not this time.

...and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave.

•    God, in His tenderness knows that his exhausted and bewildered servant that thinks he is alone needs a still small voice.  When you hear it… come to the opening of the cave…there is something life changing about to happen!

King James Version Chapter 19

What doest thou here, Elijah?

•    God asked the convicting question again in a still small voice.  The truth cut through… you are in the wrong place.  I’ve still got stuff for you to do.

•    In verses  15-17 Elijah recieved instruction.  You are not be be ashamed… I have work for you

•    You do not have to be afraid … I have work for you to do.

•    You do not have to feel like you are alone… You are not!

1 Kings 19:18 KJV 1900

Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

Conclusion:

Oh believer friend.  Have you slipped into deep dark depression thinking that you have failed to make a difference and that there is no reason to continue?  Listen to God’s messenger, you need strength… eat, rest and get ready for the journey God has for you.  Are you hiding in a cave isolated and afraid?  Listen to the voice of God that calls you into His presence.  You have heard God in the wind before and He has calmed your storms.  You have heard God in the earthquake before and He has brought stability.  You have heard God in the fire before and He has refined you.  But today He comes to you at this very moment in a still small voice.

“What are you still doing here?  I have work for you.  Your isolation is just a delusion.  You are not alone!

Karma or Grace?

Friday, January 4th, 2019

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Failing Faith / Saved by Works; Faith / Mark 10:17–31

Michael and I grew up in the same church and ran in the same Christian circles for most of our lives. We both understand each other, in an ancient sort of way, when we discuss faith. Up until the end of high school, our religious experiences were nearly identical. He knew exactly where I was coming from when I talked to him about how I felt my faith changing, failing. “Sometimes I wonder if what we were taught—what we were exposed to—doesn’t work out here in the real world.” Michael laughed before responding with a hint of anxiousness. “Bro, you don’t even know.” After I became a pastor, it took Michael sometime before he felt he could be honest with me about God. Now he wasn’t afraid to talk about what his faith—or lack thereof—looked like now. “I’m tired of a Christianity that tries to tie a neat bow on everything,” I nearly growled.

“Maybe that’s cool for a church bubble or something like that, but not here.” I stopped pacing and leaned against the wall in my office. The head on a Star Wars bobble head Dad gave me bounced on my bookshelf as I slid toward the ground. Its face wobbled up and down as I spoke. “You know what a pastor told me after Dad was diagnosed?” I looked down at the ground before continuing. “He told me that the key to my father’s healing might just be me owning up to the correction God was trying to do in my own life.” “[Expletive] that guy,” barked Michael. “Yeah . . . forget that guy.” “It’s fake,” Michael’s voice carried a side of bitterness. “I don’t know how many times someone told me that if I were good, I’d have everything I’d ever wanted. Well then why do I look around at all the good people in my life and watch them suffer the most?” “I was thinking the other day; out of all the friends we grew up with in church,” I quickly replied in the heat of the moment. “How many are still there?” The line hummed with silence before Michael replied. “Not me.”

Bearden, Wade. Failing Faith: When What You Thought You Knew about God Doesn’t Work in the Real World (p. 10). Kindle Edition.

This kind of bitter disappointment causes many unbelievers to reject Christ and many believers to give up and quit serving Christ. 

One of the reasons for this is a misunderstanding of what God offers.  Non Christian world views have been melded with Christian ones over the years distorting the truth of pure Christianity.  One of those distortions is that of Karma.

Karma is a concept in many Eastern religions where the universe pays us for what we have done… if we do good… we receive good Karma… if bad, then we receive bad Karma. Karma is getting what we deserve. Like much o the Devil’s lies, it is laced with truth.

Galatians 6:7–8 KJV 1900

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.

So, when the law of sowing and reaping is mixed with Karma, we start to look at the good in our life from a view of entitlement.  I have a job because I deserve it.  I have a car a home, a wife, kids that love me because I deserve it… God owes me that much.

In our Scripture reading this morning we read a story about a rich man who had a similar view.  He was rich because he deserved to be.  He just wanted to take it to the next level and schmooze his way into eternal security by talking to a very connected Holy man, Jesus.  He would give him the inside scoop on exactly what he had to do to further advance his cause from this life to the next.

This morning we are going to contrast the concept of Karma where we get what we deserve, with Grace where we get what we don’t deserve.  We will find that Jesus offers a much better deal when it comes down to Karma VS Grace.

Karma Often Seems to Work: The Delusion of Deserving Good

•    God’s Blessing is validation of one’s self righteous delusion. – The rich man trusted in riches as evidence of God’s blessing.

Mark 10:24 KJV 1900

And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

•    Flattery indicates one’s confidence in his own standing. “Good Master”

Good= benefit

Philemon 14 KJV 1900

but without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.

•    The rich man’s question shows his Karma confidence… what good thing must I do

 agathos (??????) describes that which, being “good” in its character or constitution, is beneficial in its effect – Vine

•    Jesus dropped a truth bomb that prepared the rich man for the truth he was going to learn about himself… there is none good but God.

Mark 10:18 KJV 1900

And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

•    With Karma, the standard you embrace becomes the standard that condemns you.

Romans 3:19 KJV 1900

Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Romans 3:20 KJV 1900

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Karma Cannot Fix What Is Broken: The Reality of Deserving

•    Karma creates the illusion of self- awareness.

Mark 10:20 KJV 1900

And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

At the beginning of her “Out of the Woods” music video, Taylor Swift is standing on a beautiful beach. “Vines begin to surround her as she slowly makes her way through a dark forest. As she sings of heartbreak and despair, she’s haunted by

both the forest and a series of wolves. The pack tears her dress, pursuing her to the top of a mountain in the middle of a snowstorm. The situation grows worse as Swift later

struggles through a swamp, a desert, and a firestorm—sounds like a day in Texas.

When she finally reaches the beach again, she approaches her former self, and gently

touches her shoulder. The video ends with the words: ‘She lost him, but she found herself. And somehow that was everything.’

“Swift’s video does provide an interesting window into twenty-first-century pop culture philosophy. Finding true peace means finding yourself. You alone hold the answer to meaning and purpose in this life”

(Bearden, Failing Faith, 25).

•    Jesus’ words shattered the illusion of self awareness.

•    These words of rebuke poured out of a heart of love from our Savior, not a heart of rejection opr hatred.

Mark 10:21 KJV 1900

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Mark 10:22 KJV 1900

And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

James 2:10 KJV 1900

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

James 2:11 KJV 1900

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.

•    Jesus invited him to come – away from his Karma based works and to Faith based belief.

John 3:16 KJV 1900

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.

•    Jesus invited him to take up his cross- publicly confess his guilt and lack

Romans 10:9–10 KJV 1900

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

•    Jesus invited him to follow Him.

Matthew 16:24 KJV 1900

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

•    The rich man made his choice… he continued to trust Karma…after all look at all the tangible evidence that it was working for him…

Mark 10:22 KJV 1900

And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

Karma Fails But Grace Prevails: The Gift of God Transcends our Merit.

•    Jesus used this sad occasion to teach the disciples these things:

•    It is hard for those that are comfortable to realize that they have a lack.

•    It is impossible for someone who trusts in riches to trust in Christ. – especially when the reason they trust in riches is that the riches are in inaccurate “proof” that their karma is working.

•    The eye of the needle in context is not talking about something that is hard, but rather something that is impossible. 

Mark 10:27 KJV 1900

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

•    ?Trust in Christ and the Gospel yields rewards  Mark 10:28-31 Trust in Christ and the Gospel yields both temporal and eternal benefit.

Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

(Mark 10:28–31, KJV 1900)      

“In his book The Prodigal God, pastor and writer Timothy Keller relays a conversation he had with a young woman about grace. The woman had grown up in a church that taught God only accepts those who lived good, ethical lives. Upon hearing Keller teach about grace—that God’s gift of salvation is completely free even to those who are immoral—the woman expressed fear. Keller asked her about it.” Her reply was telling:

“‘If I was saved by my good works—then there would be a limit to what God could ask of me or put me through. I would be like a taxpayer with rights. I would have done my duty and now I would deserve a certain quality of life. But if it is really true that I am a sinner saved by sheer grace—at God’s infinite cost—then there’s nothing he cannot ask of me.’” (Bearden, Failing Faith, 16). (Quote from Timothy Keller, The Prodigal God:

Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith [New York: Dutton, 2008], 121).

Conclusion:

Are you living under Karma or under Grace.  If you are trying to merit Heaven based on your deeds, your Karma will try you and find you wanting.  Jesus looks at you lovingly and says “One thing thou lackest”… righteousness.

Romans 3:10 KJV 1900

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

He wants to give you His righteousness if you trade your works for His.

2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV 1900

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

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If you are a believer saved by Grace through faith plus nothing, it is still possible to be living under Karma not grace.  Why do you serve?  Why do you tithe?  Why do you come to church?… so God will be happy with me and bless me… that is Karma… you wrongfully imagine that your actions will merit you favor.  God grants favor IN SPITE OF what we deserve.  If we humbly hit our knees God be merciful to me… we access His grace, and are covered by His righteousness.  So what are you trusting in to draw close to Jesus, your efforts, or His Grace?

1 John 1:9 KJV 1900

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

In the battle of Karma VS Grace… Grace wins every time.

Order in the Home: How to Keep Your Family On Track

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

Order in the Home: How to Keep Your Family On Track

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

2018 Doers of the Word / Obedience; Leadership; Family: Fathers / Colossians 3:20–21; Ephesians 6:1–2

 

When I was a boy, I received an electric train set for Christmas.  It came with tracks, an engine, coal car, box cars, and a caboose.  All of this was powered by a transformer that had a gradual switch that would increase the speed of the train.  Dad helped me assemble the tracks and nail them to a particle board so I had a solid place to run my new toy.  I found that if I backed the engine up carefully, I could hook other cars and if I went forward I would take the whole train together.  One thing I liked to do is run the train faster and faster.  Once and a while, I would bump the board and cause one of the sets of wheels on one of the cars to jump the tracks.  The car would still be on, but not all the wheels would be lined up correctly.  The train would labor and spark as it tried to pull the cockeyed car along the track.  The Train soon would heat up and quit working for a while.  You see, if all the wheels were not aligned properly, the entire train was hindered.

As we continue to explore what the Bible teaches about being doers of the word, specifically how to live with the truth that we have been made alive in Jesus, we are studying our personal relationships.  We have discovered that to have the mind of Christ is to have an others -centered Christlike love for each other.  Last week we saw that The wife and the husband have a symbiotic relationship depending upon mutual surrender.  She surrenders to submit to him, and he surrenders to selflessly surrender to love her unconditionally, protecting, guiding and providing for her as Christ does the church.

A concept that is often difficult to embrace within the study of interpersonal relationships is the concept of personal boundaries.  We use phrases like “he made me to feel…”

“She is doing ___________________ so I am not able to do _________”

Our behavior toward others becomes dependent upon their behavior toward us.  This is not the Bible way.  Our behavior toward others is a direct response of obedience to God’s commandments, not a reflexive quid pro quo like the world does.

Last week we saw that wives are to submit even when husbands are boneheads.  It is that submission that God will use to expose that boneheadery and motivate the husband to repent and go in a different direction.  We also saw that husbands are to love and to not grow bitter with unforgiveness when the wife does not submit… or when she reacts with passive aggressive tactics.  We saw that since the husband is to love the wife like Christ loved the church, that authority he has over her is not to be used for personal gratification, but for the growth, prosperity, and protection of his wife.

Colossians 3:20–21 

Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

 

Today we move onto another two way relationship, the relationship of children to parents and fathers to children.  We will see that each party has a specific function.  One can only accomplish their role, but cannot make compliance to that God given role conditional upon perceived compliance from the other.  In other words, a child is always to obey even if they think that father is provoking them and the father is to avoid provoking the child.  Each to mow their own lawn and control their own boundaries.  If parents and children simply obey the commands of scripture then the family train will remain on track.

Children Must Remain on Track

  • Obey

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Eleventh Edition) Obey

1:      to follow the commands or guidance of
2:      to conform to or comply with

Proverbs 30:17 

The eye that mocketh at his father,

And despiseth to obey his mother,

The ravens of the valley shall pick it out,

And the young eagles shall eat it.

  • Honor

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

  1. time (????, 5092), primarily “a valuing,” hence, objectively, (a) “a price paid or received,”

Exodus 20:12 

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Deuteronomy 5:16 

Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

So then the responsibility of the child still residing unter the authority, provision, and protection of the home is to unconditionally obey and honor.  This obedience should be

  • From the heart – not mere external compliance limited to what can be seen and enforced.
  • With a view of learning from the parents
  • Sweet submission to keep the wheels on track
  • Complete
  • Follow the spirit of the command not just the letter.
  • Realize that in doing so you honor God even if you think the parent may not be fair.
  • Let God deal with any perceived injustice. That is not your lawn to mow.

Fathers Must Remain on Track

Colossians 3:21 

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

  • Do not Provoke

A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed. ???????

??????? 1 aor. ???????; aor. pass. ptc. ?????????? 2 Macc 14:27; fut. pass. 3 sg. ????????????? Da 11:10, 25 (s. ????; Hom. et al.; Epict., Ench. 20; LXX; TestSol 4:6; 8:5 PC; TestDan 4:4) to cause someone to react in a way that suggests acceptance of a challenge, arouse, provoke mostly in bad sense irritate, embitter,

  • Do not Discourage

A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed. ??????

?????? 1 aor. 3 sg. ???????? LXX (since Aeschyl., Thu. 5, 91, 1; PAmh 37, 7; 10 [II B.C.]; PGiss 79 III, 11; LXX, Philo; Jos., Bell. 6, 94, Ant. 9, 87; Just., D. 107, 3) to become disheartened to the extent of losing motivation, be discouraged, lose heart, become dispirited

The Greek word literally means to take away their heat… or passion… to at best encourage apathy and at worst stir up resentment and bitterness.

  • Be a good steward of your authority over your family
  • Teach.

Deuteronomy 6:6–7 

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

  • Train with consequence both negative and positive.

Proverbs 22:6 

Train up a child in the way he should go:

And when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Hebrews 12:7

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Galatians 6:7–8

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.

 

 

 

Brothers of the Night’s Watch

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

 

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

2017 Bible Reading Challenge / Evangelism; Discipleship; Admonish; Judgment; Accountability / Ezekiel 3:15–21; Ezekiel 33:1–9; Acts 20:26–27; Hebrews 13:17

 

 

Introduction

“Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.”

This was an oath taken in the fictional land of Winterfell, the home of a giant wall that protected the realm of man from the unspeakable horrors that lie beyond the wall.  The Brothers of the Night’s Watch were given one job, watch and protect the seven kingdoms from any danger that awaits beyond the wall.  Their oath was life long, and to break that oath, even for a moment, would mean their life.

In the days of old, before radars and satellites,  the role of the  watchman was one of the most solemn responsibilities that a soldier could have.   He needed to stay alert and battle ready while the rest of the city slept.  He needed to peer into the darkness, looking and listening for trouble.  He needed to be able to discern the difference between wildlife, a wild imagination, and a true threat, an attacking enemy.  Once he discerned a threat, he needed to be willing to blare a trumpet in the middle of the night, sounding a clear piercing warning of the imminent threat.

In 597 BC, Nebuchadnezzar launched the second wave of an invasion of Judah that started in 605 BC when young Daniel was taken captive.  This time the prophet Ezekiel was one of the 10,000 people taken in the second wave of the invasion.  Our passage this morning  takes place a few years later, July 593 BC, to be exact.  Ezekiel had met with some taken captive that second time in a land we now know as Tel-Aviv .  It was by the riverside that God met with the prophet.  God commissioned him with a a solemn charge… Ezekiel was now a Spiritual watchman over Israel.  He would bear the sacred task of identifying coming judgement and warning the people so in time for them to take action and avoid it.

As we study this passage, we will find that believers share the same solemn task and burden that Ezekiel did.  Unlike the prophet, we do not get personal partial revelation of pending judgment, we are given the whole truth of a completed Bible.  Born again believers, like Ezekiel, are the watchmen commissioned to see the danger of impending judgment, and warn those who are unaware so that they can escape.

This is the burden shared by all the Brothers of the Night’s Watch.

The Watchman Has a Responsibility Toward God.

Ezekiel 3:17 KJV 1900

Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

  • God is the one who commissions the watchman.

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:3–4, KJV 1900)

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” (John 15:8, KJV 1900)

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16, KJV 1900)

  • The watchman must be awake and alert

1 Corinthians 15:34 KJV 1900

Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;” (Ezekiel 33:2–3, KJV 1900)

  • the watchman must be listening to God’s Word

Ezekiel 33:7 KJV 1900

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.

 

  • The watchman must sound a clear warning

If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;” (Ezekiel 33:3, KJV 1900)

But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” (Ezekiel 33:6, KJV 1900)

The Watchman Has A Responsibility Toward The Wicked

(The Hell-bound sinner)

Ezekiel 3:18–19 KJV 1900

When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

  • The sinner before salvation is condemned to death and Hell

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 3:10, KJV 1900)

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23, KJV 1900)

  • The Watchman must warn him!

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15, KJV 1900)

 

 

A Connecticut man was so busy listening to music on his iPod that he did not notice his house was on fire. Andrew Riley told fire officials he didn’t smell smoke or hear the smoke alarm going off. He was so engrossed in the music that he was unaware of the fire on the upper floor of his home until the alarm company called to tell him about the danger. A fire marshal determined an electrical malfunction caused the fire. He said the situation could have been much worse if, after receiving the warning, Riley hadn’t run upstairs and closed a door to contain the fire.

It is so easy to get distracted and miss the alarms going off around us.

 

—Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell

 

  • If the sinner dies unwarned, the watchman will bear the guilt

2 Corinthians 5:11 KJV 1900

Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

 

  • If the sinner dies having heard, but not heeding the warning, the watchman is guilt free.

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.” (Ezekiel 33:9, KJV 1900)

  • If the sinner turns, his soul is delivered.

He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.” (Ezekiel 33:5, KJV 1900)

The Watchman Has A Responsibility Toward The Backsliding Believer

Ezekiel 3:19–20 KJV 1900

Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

  • The backslider can still face consequences, possibly lethal ones, even though he is no longer hell bound.

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:14–15, KJV 1900)

  • The watchman must warn the backslider

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24–26, KJV 1900)

  • Silence brings personal guilt

Acts 20:26–27 KJV 1900

Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

The watchman could restore a fallen brother.

Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19–20, KJV 1900)

Lord prepare me to answer Your call,
Faithfully let me stand on the wall,
A “watchman” I would be,
Seeking now to find victory;
Help me boldly to call on Your name,
May the Gospel I boldly proclaim,
For others I would intercede,
For this glorious land plead,
Help me in Your name bind Satan’s power,
And live in victory hour by hour.

  • Ed Ostrom

 

 

Strength In Weakness

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

Strength in Weakness

Isaiah 40:28-31

Preached Sunday July 30, 2017

 

Introduction:

 

About 23 years ago, I was suffering from a terrible sinus infection. Finally, I sought the doctor’s advice and treatment. He prescribed a strong medicine and recommended that I continue taking the strongest over the counter decongestant that was on the market.

 

Later on, in the middle of the night I went downstairs to use the bathroom. My head began to feel strange began to feel strange. The room started to spin, grow dark, then… I heard moaning. I could not see at all. Soon I realized that the moaning I heard was me. I had fainted. I was on the bathroom floor. The medicines had interacted.

 

This message today is for men and women that are involved in the work of the Lord, who find themselves spiritually faint. Sometimes after we have been saved for a while, we become spiritually ill. We attempt to continue serving God the same way that we used to… But something is wrong and we faint, falling flat on our faces spiritually.

 

After we hit the ground, we have two choices. We could correct the problem that caused us to faint, or we could be content to be a spiritual invalid- pulling away from the spiritual commitments we once had. We are no longer willing to go soulwinning, teach Sunday school, serve on a committee, or attend services regularly.

 

God’s word gives us a simple cure for spiritual fainting spells. We must learn that “wait” is an action word. We must find a different power source, and learn to serve God on the long haul. May God speak to your heart as we discover the cure to spiritual fainting spells.

 

  1. Even the Strongest of People Grow Faint From Time to Time

 

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall:” (Isaiah 40:30, KJV 1900)

  1. Weakness comes when we rely on human strength and provision to accomplish a heavenly task.
  2. Fainting causes us to miss out on the blessings that are already coming to us.

 

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9, KJV 1900)

 

  1. Fainting causes us to give in to fatigue, depression, and apathy.
  2. Fainting causes us to want to tear down and retreat rather than to build up and conquer.

 

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.” (1 Chronicles 4:10, KJV 1900)

 

 

  1. The Answer to Fainting is Revival not Retreat

 

 

Isaiah 40:31

31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. 

 

  1. Service “Wait” is an action word

 

  • Like a waiter

 

 

Psalm 27:14

14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

 

Psalm 37:34

34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

 

Psalm 25:3

3 Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

 

  1. Expectation

 

Psalm 40:1

1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

1  I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. 

 

Lamentations 3:25-26

25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

 

  1. Jesus taught the same principal

 

  • Rest comes when you exchange your burden for Christ’s

 

Matthew 11:28-30

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

 

  • You need a different power source

 

Isaiah 40:31

31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. 

 

  1. Renew= “change of strength”

 

Psalm 84:5-7

5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. 6 Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.   7 They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. 

 

  1. From your flesh

 

Romans 7:18

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

 

  1. To God

 

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, That the everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; And to them that have no might he increaseth strength.” (Isaiah 40:28–29, KJV 1900)

 

 

Psalm 18:1-2

1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,

1  I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

 

Zechariah 4:6

6 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. 

 

 

 

  1. Find strength in spite of circumstances!

 

2 Corinthians 4:8-10

8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

 

2 Corinthians 4:16

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

 

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

9 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. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

 

  1. You can serve God for the long haul!

 

Isaiah 40:31

31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. 

 

  1. Mount up with wings= ascend as a result of immediate deliverance

 

Exodus 19:4

4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.

 

  1. Run= especially running to one’s aid

 

2 Corinthians 5:11

11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

 

  1. You can do these things without fainting from lack of faith

 

Psalm 27:13

13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.