Archive for the ‘Wednesday Evening Sermons’ Category

Time and Productivity By The Book

Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Time and Productivity By The Book

Pastor Don Carpenter

Redeeming Your Time / Ephesians 5:15–17

(Based on Raynor, Jordan. Redeeming Your Time (p. xix). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.)

Today, we begin a 5-week series called Redeeming Your Time. What does this term— “redeeming your time” —even mean? Does God really care how we spend our time today?

Let’s look at scripture to find out. The term “redeeming your time” comes from the book of Ephesians. After expounding upon the gospel of grace in Ephesians chapters 1-4, the apostle Paul reminds us of our status as “dearly loved children” of God in Ephesians 5:1. What is our response to our adoption as sons and daughters of God? Paul answers this question a few verses later saying:

Ephesians 5:15–17 KJV

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 

Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Paul is saying, part of our response to the gospel is to redeem our time—to manage our time as carefully and wisely as possible. The Greek word exagorazó which we translate to mean “redeeming” here literally means to “buy up” or “ransom.” If you’ve ever said, “I wish I could buy more time,” that’s the idea here. As Christians, we are called to “buy up” as much time as we can.

Why? Not so that we will have more time to spend on selfish pursuits. We are called to redeem our time because “the days are evil” and we are running out of time to do the “will of the Lord.”

So how do we redeem our time?

Over the next five weeks, we are going to look at how the author of time managed his time when he came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. As you read the gospels, you can’t help but realize Jesus was the most productive person who ever lived. We’re going to look at his life and how he managed his time (very counter culturally) and see how we can apply those principles to our own lives in the 21st century.

 “I’m swamped.” I’ve said it, you’ve said it—we’ve all said it at one point or another. Maybe you’re in a season of feeling swamped right now. You roll out of bed each morning exhausted from not getting enough sleep. You pull open your phone to find a dozen text messages, from the ridiculous (another GIF of a dancing dog) to the exhausting (“Can you bring Chloe home from church tonight?”). If you manage to squeeze in a few minutes of “quiet time,” you’re quickly interrupted by your calendar notifying you of today’s meeting that you didn’t have enough time to fully prepare for. At work, the struggle continues. Your to-do list seems to be getting longer, not shorter. Your day is filled with back-to-back meetings, with no time to think in between. When you are finally able to carve out some time to focus on some “real work,” that familiar ambient anxiety creeps in, leading you to question if the project you’re working on is the “right thing” for you to be focused on at that moment. After work, you rush back home to have dinner with your family or friends. Sitting across from the people you care about the most, you’re there but not really there, as your brain is trying to do the thinking you didn’t have time to do during the day. After dinner, it’s the mad rush of all rushes: clean up, help the kids with their homework, and pray that everyone finds time for a bath. After streaming your favorite show, studying for an exam, or cramming in a few minutes of reading, you check email one last time and go to bed, only to wake up and do it all over again the next day.

 Sound familiar? Of course, this is an extreme picture of what it looks like to be swamped, but I’m afraid it’s closer to reality than most of us care to admit. Increasingly, it feels like time happens to us—like we’re running a race that’s impossible to win. We feel beholden to our calendars, watches, and to-do lists rather than having dominion over these tools that promised to make our lives easier and more productive. We have too much to do and not nearly enough time to do it. In short, we’re swamped.

Luke 8:22–23 KJV

Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. 

But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.

 This passage perfectly illustrates the core premise of this book—namely, that the solution to the disciples’ being swamped by the wind and waves is the exact same solution to our being swamped by our to-do lists and hurried schedules. The solution to our perennial struggle with time management is found in Jesus Christ. 

 First, Jesus offers you peace before you do anything. Nearly every time-management expert says that the path to peace and productivity is found in implementing his or her system. This is what we might call “works-based productivity,” which claims that if you do exercises X, Y, and Z, then you will find peace. This book begins with the opposite premise, in what we might call “grace-based productivity,” which says that through Jesus Christ, we already have peace, and we do time-management exercises X, Y, and Z as a response of worship.

Raynor, Jordan. Redeeming Your Time (p. xix). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 

Time management tactics will never be your most foundational source of peace. As Christians, our ultimate source of peace—our ultimate solution to being swamped—is found in the God-man sleeping through the storm. As the apostle Paul said in Ephesians 2:14: “[Jesus] himself is our peace.”

So now that we have established that our place in God’s family is secure, we still want to be better stewards of our time, right? So what does scripture have to say about time and our role in it?

Today, we’re going to touch on five answers to that question.

Our Longing For Timelessness is Good and God Given.

Genesis 2:15 KJV

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

The Hebrew word for “dress” here is the word avodah which is also translated to mean “worship” in our Bibles. Work existed pre-sin. Work was good. Work was more than good. Work was worship.

I know some Christians believe that this longing for timelessness is rooted in pride. But the more I study scripture, the more I’m convinced that this desire to live and be productive forever was designed by God himself. Ecclesiastes 3:11 makes this crystal clear saying that God has “set the world in their heart.”

Something in our God-designed DNA tells us we were made for something more. To be human is to work with time that our minds tell us is finite, but that our souls assure us shouldn’t be finite. So why is time finite? This leads me to the next truth:

Sin Has Ensured We Will Die With Unfinished Symphonies

Genesis 3:17–19 KJV

And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 

Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

1 Corinthians 15:21 KJV

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

Human beings, who were created to be immortal, became mortal. Work, which was created to be good, became difficult. Time, which was created to be infinite, became finite. In short, sin has ensured that nobody will ever finish the work they envision completing in their lifetime.

Karl Rahner, said it this way: “In the torment of the insufficiency of everything attainable, we learn that ultimately in this world there is no finished symphony.”

Whew, that’s depressing. But it’s true, isn’t it? We will all die with unfinished symphonies. Our to-do lists will never be completed. There will always be a gap between what we can imagine accomplishing in this life and what we can actually get done.

Thank goodness sin didn’t get the final say. Moving on to Truth #3:

God Will Finish The Work We Leave Unfinished.

OK, let’s recap: God created us to live forever, but sin has broken creation and made us mortal, time-bound, and finite.

Where’s the hope? Our hope is found in Jesus Christ. He walked out of the tomb that first Easter morning with a redeemed body that could not be destroyed again. The resurrection was Jesus’s way of declaring that our longing for immortality has been right all along and that through him, we too can experience eternal life.

But Easter wasn’t just the beginning of eternal life. Easter marked the inauguration of God’s eternal kingdom.

How does this tie into time management and “redeeming our time”?

To simplify the Christian story: God created us to live and work with him in a perfect garden. Sin messed everything up, but God promised to send a King to set everything right. With his defeat of death on Easter, Jesus proved emphatically that He is that promised King. And everything from that moment to the end of Revelation is about the building of God’s kingdom until Jesus returns to finish what he inaugurated at the resurrection and make “all things new”(Revelation 21:5).

What does this mean for us in the present?

1 Corinthians 15:58 KJV

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 3:9 KJV

For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

Did you catch that? We are God’s co-workers. In Genesis, God created a lot in six days, but what’s equally remarkable is what He did not create. The first few days of creation was God setting up a canvas. The sixth day is when He passed the baton of creation to us—His image-bearers—and called us to fill that canvas (literally, to “fill the earth”) with things that point to his glory.

The same thing happened on Easter morning. Jesus inaugurated His kingdom with His resurrection, but He left the work of building for the kingdom to us until He returns to finish the work once and for all. As New Testament scholar N.T. Wright says, “God always wanted to work in His world through loyal human beings.”

But because God alone will finish that work and ultimately bring heaven to earth, we can embrace this freeing truth today: God doesn’t need you or me to finish our to-do lists. If the things on our to-do lists are on God’s to-do list, he will complete them with or without us.

Ultimately, there’s no such thing as an unfinished symphony if God desires for that symphony to be a part of his eternal world. Whatever work God wants finished, He will finish, which leads to another liberating and hopeful truth: You and I have all the time we need. This is why Truth #4 is so powerful:

The Gospel is Our Source of Rest and Ambition.

As we’ve seen, God doesn’t need us to be productive; but if we’re honest, we often need ourselves to be productive in order to feel a sense of self-worth.

Because we did nothing to earn God’s grace, there is nothing we can do to lose it. No matter how productive you are in this life, your status as an adopted child of God will never ever change.

Ironically, it’s that truth that leads us to be wildly productive. Why? Because working to earn someone’s favor is exhausting. But working in response to unconditional favor is intoxicating.

So what is God’s agenda? How can we “work for his Kingdom” and “redeem our time”? Let’s look again at Scripture.

Ephesians 2:10 KJV

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Matthew 5:16 KJV

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

The phrase “good works” has often been misinterpreted. We can think it only refers to charity or ministry work. But when we look at the Greek word used, ergon, we see it is translated to mean “work, task, [and] employment.”

Remember, work was a part of God’s perfect world prior to the Fall, and Jesus reaffirmed the goodness of what many would deem “secular work” by spending roughly eighty percent of His adult life working as a carpenter. As long as your work is not contrary to God’s Word, it can be considered “good work!”

So as we go about our lives and work advancing God’s kingdom, where can we look for practical wisdom as to how to redeem our time? That question leads us to Truth #5:

We Can Know How God Would Manage His Time.

When the author of time “became flesh” (John 1:14), He became fully human, meaning that He experienced the same day-to-day challenges other mortals faced. He had a business to run, a mother and father to care for, hunger to manage, and the need for sleep. Oh yeah, and He faced the same twenty-four-hour time constraint as every other human being. As a human being, Jesus was challenged to steward his limited time on earth much like we are today.

We see this illustrated throughout the gospels:

John 9:4 KJV

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

John 17:4 KJV

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

But how could 1st century Jerusalem compare to what we deal with today? Jesus didn’t have email or a smartphone. He didn’t have the distractions that we have now. Surely it was easier to manage his time, right?

But we see it time and time again – Jesus was constantly interrupted. He was constantly having to make choices about his priorities and say no to people.

Hebrews 4:15 KJV

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

In the person of Jesus, the word became flesh, ensuring he could empathize with all of our weaknesses, including our efforts to redeem our time.

Throughout the rest of this series, we are going to walk through seven principles the gospels show us for HOW Jesus redeemed his time. Today, I’ll leave you with the first and, I believe, most imperative step to redeeming our time – start with the word. To redeem our time in the model of our Redeemer, we must first know the author of time, His purposes for the world, and what He has called us to do with the time He has given us.

Jesus frequently broke away from the crowds and His disciples to spend time alone with His Father. For us, this can look like:

? Reading scripture daily

? Meditating on what you read

? Praying throughout your day

It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to take 3 hours. Just carve out time, dig into scripture, and see what God has to say about our time and how we should spend it. Don’t take my word for it. Hear it from the source.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:24 PM January 4, 2022.

Don’t Get Carried Away

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

Don’t Get Carried Away!

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

J.I. Packer wrote, “All Christians are at once beneficiaries and victims of tradition—beneficiaries, who receive nurturing truth and wisdom from God’s faithfulness in past generations; victims, who now take for granted things that need to be questioned, thus treating as divine absolutes patterns of belief and behavior that should be seen as human, provisional, and relative. We are all beneficiaries of good, wise, and sound tradition and victims of poor, unwise, and unsound traditions.”

Tonight’s passage is a short and pithy warning about becoming spoiled. In this case, Paul is not warning about soul rot, but rather being carried away by the forces of darkness as spoils of war. Every one of us as believers are targets of the Dark One. He and his wish to get us off track, to get us away from truth and to carry us away deceived and confused, and thus rendered ineffective in the battle for truth.

The warning is simple and profound we need to beware of those things that can be used to move us from Bible truth. We must be vigilant so that we do not get carried away.

Colossians 2:8 KJV

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Don’t Get Carried Away

“Beware” is blepete (???????), “Be constantly looking out, keep a watchful eye ever open.” Lightfoot says; “The form of the sentence is a measure of the imminence of the peril.” Expositors says; “The future indicative after m? (??) (not) implies a more serious estimate of the danger than the subjunctive.” The Greek is, “Be ever on your guard lest there shall be anyone who spoils you.” 1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 6 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 199.

 Paul continued the military image with this warning: “Beware lest any man carry you off as a captive” (literal translation). The false teachers did not go out and win the lost, no more than the cultists do today. They “kidnapped” converts from churches! Most of the people I have talked with who are members of antichristian cults were at one time associated with a Christian church of one denomination or another.

 How is it possible for false teachers to capture people? The answer is simple: These “captives” are ignorant of the truths of the Word of God. They become fascinated by the philosophy and empty delusion of the false teachers. (This is not to say that all philosophy is wrong, because there is a Christian philosophy of life. The word simply means “to love wisdom.”) When a person does not know the doctrines of the Christian faith, he can easily be captured by false religions.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 125.

 Regardless of the specific teachings, the fundamental problem Paul identifies is that human rules and traditions are being recommended as necessary supplements to Christ. However, it is also possible that Paul is not correcting a particular false teaching. Instead, Paul could be concerned with the immaturity and ignorance of the Colossian believers.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Col 2:8.

Don’t Get Carried Away By Philosophy And Vain Deceit

philosophia (?????????, 5385) denotes “the love and pursuit of wisdom,” hence, “philosophy,” the investigation of truth and nature; in Col. 2:8, the so-called “philosophy” of false teachers. “Though essentially Greek as a name and as an idea, it had found its way into Jewish circles … Josephus speaks of the three Jewish sects as three ‘philosophies’ … It is worth observing that this word, which to the Greeks denoted the highest effort of the intellect, occurs here alone in Paul’s writings … the Gospel had deposed the term as inadequate to the higher standard whether of knowledge or of practice, which it had introduced (Lightfoot).1

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), 470.

1 Corinthians 1:19–20 KJV

For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

Galatians 1:11 KJV

But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

1. apate (?????, 539), “deceit or deceitfulness” (akin to apatao, “to cheat, deceive, beguile”), that which gives a false impression, whether by appearance, statement or influence, is said of riches, Matt. 13:22; Mark 4:19; of sin, Heb. 3:13.1

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), 151.

Philippians 3:2 KJV

Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

Don’t Get Carried Away By Traditions of Men

The word tradition means “that which is handed down”; and there is a true Christian tradition (1 Cor. 15:3ff; 2 Thes. 2:15; 3:6; 2 Tim. 2:2). The important thing about any teaching is its origin: Did it come from God or from man? The religious leaders in our Lord’s day had their traditions and were very zealous to obey them and protect them (Matt. 15:1–20). Even the Apostle Paul, before he met the Lord, was “exceedingly zealous of the traditions” (Gal. 1:14).

If a new Christian from a distant mission field were to visit many of our churches, he would probably be astounded at the ideas and practices we have that cannot be supported by God’s Word. Our man-made traditions are usually more important to us than the God-given doctrines of the Scriptures! While it is not wrong to have church traditions that remind us of our godly heritage, we must be careful not to make these traditions equal to the Word of God.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 125.

Matthew 15:3 KJV

But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

Don’t Get Carried Away By Basic Worldly Teaching

“Rudiments” is stoicheia (????????), “rudimentary teachings,” such as “ceremonialism, meats, drinks, washings, Essenic asceticism, pagan symbolic mysteries and initiatory rites—all belonged to a rudimentary moral stage” (Vincent). “World” is kosmos (??????). Lightfoot defines; “belonging to the sphere of material and external things.”1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 6 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 200.

Galatians 4:9–10 KJV

But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 

Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

Colossians 2:20–22 KJV

Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 

(Touch not; taste not; handle not; 

Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

 • Replacing the person of Christ for building blocks of merit based living.

Galatians 1:12 KJV

For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Jeremiah 2:13 KJV

For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

In the New York Times Magazine Robert Bryce writes:

Autumn is prime time for the use of eyeblack in sports: baseball players in daytime playoff games and football players put dark stuff under their eyes, supposedly to reduce glare bouncing off their cheeks. One popular smear, called No Glare, contains crushed charcoal, paraffin, beeswax and petrolatum. Does it do anything? Dr. Oliver Schein, an ophthalmologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, says, “Probably not.” Even so, it’s a tradition. The Pro Football Hall of Fame has a photo of the Washington Redskins fullback Andy Farkas using it way back in 1942. Bobby Valentine, when he managed the Texas Rangers, once wore eyeblack in the dugout. Boog Powell, the former Baltimore Orioles star, used it during his 17 years in the majors. “I don’t remember it ever doing any good,” he says. “But you looked cool.”

We do well on occasion to examine our traditions to see whether we really know their purpose—and whether they accomplish that purpose.1

1 Craig Brian Larson, 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers & Writers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2002), 581–582.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:25 PM December 15, 2021.

Physician, Heal Thyself

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

Physician, Heal Thyself

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Wisdom; Take Counsel / Acts 21:1–14

Sometimes we focus so hard trying to impart wisdom and character to others, we neglect to take our own advice. Tonight’s lesson is about not only the wisdom to give good counsel, but wisdom to listen to the counsel of others.

It is important for the servant of God not only to teach and lead, but also to learn and follow from time to time. Through out several cities Paul had been warned of impending doom in Jerusalem. He was bracing himself for the worse. Tonight we will see that he was told clearly that he should not go to Jerusalem at all. We will see that his burden for Jewish people caused him to disobey God’s direct leading.

Paul was warned directly and specifically not to go to Jerusalem.

Acts 21:1–6 KJV

And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara: 

And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth. 

Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden. 

And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. 

And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed. 

And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again.

Paul knew of the coming bonds in Jerusalem.

Acts 20:23 KJV

Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.

The Holy Spirit specifically forbid Paul to go to Jerusalem. (verse 4)

Acts 21:4 KJV

And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

Acts 16:6–7 KJV

Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, 

After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.

Revelation 3:7 KJV

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

Paul encouraged the saints on his way to Jerusalem.

Acts 21:7–9 KJV

And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day. 

And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. 

And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

 A. In Ptolemais

 B. In Caesarea at Philip’s house

  1. His daughters prophesied

  2. His daughters did not teach Paul directly, even though God had many messages to give Paul regarding Jerusalem.

1 Timothy 2:11–12 KJV

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 

But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

Paul was warned by the prophet, Agabus

Acts 21:10–14 KJV

And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. 

And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. 

And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. 

Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. 

And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.

Agabus had been used back before Paul had become a missionary.

Acts 11:28 KJV

And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Agabus illustrated Paul’s coming bondage.

All the saints tried to persuade Paul to change his mind.

Hebrews 10:24 KJV

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

Proverbs 11:14 KJV

Where no counsel is, the people fall: But in the multitude of counsellers there is safety.

Proverbs 15:22 KJV

Without counsel purposes are disappointed: But in the multitude of counsellers they are established.

Proverbs 24:6 KJV

For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: And in multitude of counsellers there is safety.

Conclusion:

Sometimes we can find ourselves thinking and behaving like the Apostle Paul did in our passage tonight. We can have a good burden, and a passionate zeal for something. God may try to re-direct our efforts, but we could be so focused upon our own burden and idea that we do not follow the direct leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leads through personal direction, through pastoral counsel, and through the counsel of wise peers. When all of those sources of wisdom seem to be saying the same thing, one should take a second look at what he plans to do, and allow himself to be taught by God’s leading. These are the lessons we can learn so we do not hear the rebuke, physician heal thyself.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:09 AM November 23, 2021.

Divine Intervention

Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

Divine Intervention

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Acts 12:1–5

DEFINE MIRACLE

A miracle is a divine intervention into, or interruption of, the regular course of the world that produces a purposeful but unusual event that would not have occurred otherwise(Geisler).

Scholar, William Lane Craig gives us an even more simple definition:

A miracle is an event which is not producible by the natural causes that are operative at the time and place that the event occurs.

SOURCE: Norman Geisler and Ron Brooks, When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook on Christian Evidences (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1990), 79. Lee Strobel, The Case for Faith (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pub. House, 2000), 62

___

Tonight we are going to take a simple look at the concept of Divine Intervention. When God gets involved, often the natural course of events change abruptly. God intervenes and the entire universe must bend to His will.

God Gets Involved When The Church Prays

Things Looked Bad For Peter

Acts 12:1–4 KJV

Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 

And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 

And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) 

And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

BUT PRAYER WAS MADE

 Acts 12:5 (KJV)

 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

Deliverance Came

Acts 12:6–12 KJV

And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. 

And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. 

And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. 

And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. 

When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. 

And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. 

And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

Matthew 18:19 KJV

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

God Gets Involved When His People Pray

Dorcas Died

Acts 9:36–40 KJV

Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. 

And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. 

And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them. 

Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. 

But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.

BUT PETER PRAYED

Acts 9:40–41 KJV

But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 

And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.

Prayer Is Available For All Believers

James 5:16–18 KJV

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 

Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 

And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

God Gets Involved When His Son Prays

Satan Desired To Destroy Peter

Luke 22:31 KJV

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

BUT JESUS PRAYED

 Luke 22:32 (KJV)

 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

John 17:9–11 KJV

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 

And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. 

And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

Jesus Prayed For You Too!

John 17:15–21 KJV

I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 

They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 

As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 

And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

This week when the course of events seem to be headed in a perilous direction, remember that all of creation must comply to the will of God. Drop to your knees, tell daddy what is going on and your story too will change with the narrative, but prayer was made!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:22 PM November 16, 2021.

Meekness Personified

Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

Meekness Personified

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

A large group of European pastors came to one of D. L. Moody’s Northfield Bible Conferences in Massachusetts in the late 1800s. Following the European custom of the time, each guest put his shoes outside his room to be cleaned by the hall servants overnight. But of course this was America and there were no hall servants.

Walking the dormitory halls that night, Moody saw the shoes and determined not to embarrass his brothers. He mentioned the need to some ministerial students who were there, but met with only silence or pious excuses. Moody returned to the dorm, gathered up the shoes, and, alone in his room, the world’s only famous evangelist began to clean and polish the shoes. Only the unexpected arrival of a friend in the midst of the work revealed the secret.

When the foreign visitors opened their doors the next morning, their shoes were shined. They never knew by whom. Moody told no one, but his friend told a few people, and during the rest of the conference, different men volunteered to shine the shoes in secret. Perhaps the episode is a vital insight into why God used D. L. Moody as He did. He was a man with a servant’s heart and that was the basis of his true greatness.”

(Gary Inrig, A Call to Excellence, (Victor Books, a division of SP Publishing, Wheaton, Ill; 1985), p. 98.

From a sermon by Eric Lenhart, Are Your Feet Dirty? 8/12/2010)

One of the reasons I believe that God used D.L. Moody in a mighty way was not only because he could preach but also that he understood Christlike meekness. His story reminds us of the one we just read where Jesus washed the disciple’s feet.  The Bible tells us that Jesus is the living demonstration of the character of God, and the character we are to emulate.

John 1:14 KJV

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Matthew 11:29 KJV

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.

Albert Barnes gives us the following insight on understanding meekness:

“Meekness is patience in the reception of injuries. It is neither meanness nor a surrender of our rights, nor cowardice; but it is the opposite of sudden anger, of malice, of long-harboured vengeance.”

“Meekness is the reception of injuries with a belief that God will vindicate us. “Vengeance is his; he will repay,” Ro. 12:19. It little becomes us to take his place, and to do what he has promised to do.

Meekness produces peace. It is proof of true greatness of soul. It comes from a heart too great to be moved by little insults. It looks upon those who offer them with pity. He that is constantly ruffled; that suffers every little insult or injury to throw him off his guard and to raise a storm of passion within, is at the mercy of every mortal that chooses to disturb him. He is like “the troubled sea that cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.”

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: Matthew & Mark, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 44.

While it may take some work to dig into the meaning of “meek and lowly in heart”, our story before us this evening gives us a living breathing example of what Grace living looks like. Let us get ready to renew our minds as we discover together the picture Christ gave of meekness personified.

Jesus Knew

That His Hour Was Come

John 13:1 KJV

Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

Who He Was in God – No Identity Crisis

John 13:3 KJV

Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

John 13:13 KJV

Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

Who Would Do What to Him

John 13:37–38 KJV

Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. 

Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

John 20:24–25 KJV

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

John 13:2 KJV

And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;

John 13:11 KJV

For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

John 13:26–27 KJV

Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 

And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

If Jesus knew the grievances committed against Him, yet showed love and grace in humility, all our excuses for withholding grace and kindness are gone. This should affect how we treat:

 • Our cut throat coworker

 • The bully in our life

 • Those whose lifestyle is opposite your own

 • LGBTQ community that may visit our church.

Jesus Loved

 John 13:1 (KJV)

 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

The Sheep

John 10:11–14 KJV

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 

But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 

The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

The Lost

Luke 19:10 KJV

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

So he used this act of Grace to teach the sheep and to perform one more little act of kindness before Judas was sentenced to Hell for eternity.

Jesus Demonstrated

Matthew 11:29 KJV

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.

The Look of a Servant

John 13:4 KJV

He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

his outer clothing First-century Jews typically wore two layers—an outside robe and an inside robe against their skin. Here, Jesus takes off his outside robe either because He doesn’t want to get it wet or, more likely, to demonstrate His vulnerability to His disciples, which suggests that love requires a person to be vulnerable. Jesus then ties a towel around his waist, likely to use if for wiping the disciples’ feet.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Jn 13:4.

The Action of a Servant

John 13:5 KJV

After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

wash the feet This is an act that only slaves performed. When the master of a wealthy household returned from a journey or, at times, a day of labor, a slave would wash his feet. People wore open-toed sandals in the first century, which would have made this an unpleasant task.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Jn 13:5

The Identity of a Servant

John 13:12–13 KJV

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 

Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

Philippians 2:7 KJV

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Jesus Taught

John 13:15 KJV

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

By Example

John 13:15 KJV

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

1 John 2:6 KJV

He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Philippians 2:5 KJV

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

By Word

John 13:12 KJV

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

1 Peter 5:5 KJV

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

By Position

John 13:16 KJV

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

Luke 6:40 KJV

The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

HE WASHED MY FEET – GREATER VISION

The moment our eyes met

I knew this was the night that I would betray him The precious Lamb of God

No other disciple was aware if my plan

Til He rose from the table with something in His hand

His holy eyes pierced through me

Revealing all my sin

I knew His wrath was coming

And this would be the end

But He bowed and He washed my feet knowing that I was the cause of His grief

When He should have scolded

He whispered peace

As He bowed and He bowed and He washed my feet

Judas would fail Him But he’s no worse than I

The moment I gave into satan’s compromise

Ungrateful that Jesus had saved me from hell

I was walking so proudly and that’s when I fell

His holy eyes pierced through me

Revealing all my sin

I knew His wrath was coming

And this would be the end

But He bowed and He washed my feet knowing that I was the cause of His grief

When He should have scolded

He whispered peace

As He bowed

The king bowed

Jesus washed my feet

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:44 PM November 10, 2021.

Disinterested Goodness

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021

Disinterested Goodness

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Luke 14:12–14

Brad and Libby Birky opened a restaurant in Denver, Colorado. It is a 40 seat restaurant that has one thing conspicuously absent, a cash register. They serve healthy food to people in need. The Birky’s do not charge for their meals telling people “Pay whatever you can afford.” Some do not pay anything but most pay a dollar or donate an hour of work. The name of the restaurant: SAME- So All May Eat.

This kind of selfless virtue is all too rare today. In our passage today Jesus also offers a radical motivation check to help us follow in our Savior’s footsteps rather than just making soft choices that mimic virtue.

Luke 14:12–14 KJV

Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. 

But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 

And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

Jesus’s third word is addressed ‘to the man who had invited him’. It is unlikely to be a personal accusation, since his host can hardly have had a return invitation in mind when he invited the poor preacher to his house, but again it is a general principle which could apply to anyone—the danger of calculating possible rewards. Real disinterested goodness is rare indeed; so much of what we do is coloured by the hope, if not the intention, that it may in some way work out to our own benefit.

Such a concern for personal advantage is another thing that will have to go if one is to get in through the narrow door. There, more than anywhere, self-interest is inadmissible. The humble aim of the would-be entrant should rather be, in the words of the old Latin hymn-writer, 

to seek his God

not for the hope of winning heaven,

Nor of escaping hell;

Not with the hope of gaining aught,

Not seeking a reward;

But as thyself hast lovèd me,

O ever-loving Lord.

1 Michael Wilcock, The Savior of the World: The Message of Luke’s Gospel, The Bible Speaks Today (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1979), 145–146.

Self Interest Limits Your Reward

Luke 14:12 KJV

Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.

Luke 6:32–35 KJV

For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 

And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 

And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Matthew 6:5 KJV

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Here is a searching passage, because it demands that we should examine the motives behind all our generosity.

(1) Some people may give from a sense of duty.

He dropped a penny in the plate

And meekly raised his eyes,

Glad the week’s rent was duly paid

For mansions in the skies.

We may give to God and to others much in the same way as we pay our income tax—as the satisfaction of a grim duty which we cannot escape.

(2) Some people may give purely from motives of self-interest. Consciously or unconsciously they may regard their giving as an investment. They may regard each gift as an entry on the credit side of their account in the ledger of God. Such giving, so far from being generosity, is rationalized selfishness.

(3) Some people may give in order to feel superior. Such giving can be a cruel thing. It can hurt the recipient much more than a blunt refusal. To give like that is to look down on others. Some people may even throw in a short and smug lecture. It would be better not to give at all than to give merely to gratify one’s own vanity and one’s own desire for power. The Rabbis had a saying that the best kind of giving was when the giver did not know to whom he was giving, and when the receiver did not know from whom he was receiving.

(4) Some people may give because they cannot help it. That is the only real way to give. The law of the kingdom is this—that if we give to gain reward we will receive no reward; but if we give with no thought of reward our reward is certain. The only real giving is that which is the uncontrollable outflow of love. Once Dr Johnson cynically described gratitude as ‘a lively sense of favours to come’. The same definition could equally apply to certain forms of giving. God gave because he so loved the world—and so must we.1

1 William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001), 226–227.

 Living by the Law of Reciprocity

 Now you would think Jesus has ruffled enough feathers at one dinner: exposing the legalist’s ability to twist the law in order to protect their selfish convenience, and exposing the pride of those who crave the praise of men. You would think the party is over. But he is not done yet.

 He said also to the man who had invited him, “Whenever you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers, or your relatives or your rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and it be a repayment for you. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For it will be repaid to you in the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12–14)

 Up till now Jesus has talked to the guests. Now he turns to the host. “Don’t touch that snake, lest it bite you and you die.” “Don’t climb that rope, lest it break and you fall.” “Don’t invite your friends and brothers and relatives and rich neighbors to dinner, lest you be repaid in kind.” What an unearthly argument! “Danger! Repayment ahead!” “Warning! This repayment may be dangerous to your health!” Who on earth would talk like that? Probably somebody whose kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36); somebody who knows that 1,000 years on this earth are like yesterday when it is gone (Psalm 90:4); somebody who knows that our life is but a mist that appears and in a moment vanishes away (James 4:14); who knows that he who saves his life now will lose it later, and he who loses it now in love will save it later (Mark 8:35); and who knows that there will be a resurrection unto eternal life, a resurrection of the just to live with God a million millennia of eons, if indeed he was our God on this earth. Jesus is the man. No man ever spoke like this man. And the people who call him Lord ought not to be like any other people.

 Take heed how you hear. There are some whose first and only reaction to Jesus’ words will be: “Well, he can’t mean that, because then we would have no more church suppers, no more Sunday School socials, no more family reunions, and even the Lord’s Supper would have been wrong.” Then, having thus defused the text and bent the sword of the Spirit, they move on to the next passage and right on through the New Testament justifying themselves and, just like the Pharisees, manipulating the law of Christ to preserve their unruffled tradition and convenience.1

1 John Piper, Sermons from John Piper (1980–1989) (Minneapolis, MN: Desiring God, 2007).

Selfless Motivation Reflects Christ in You

Luke 14:13 KJV

But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:

Luke 4:18–19 KJV

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 

To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

John 9:2 KJV

And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

Well-to-do persons in the Greco-Roman world usually invited people of somewhat lower social status in return for receiving honor, but these invitees would still be relatively respectable, not absolute dependents or beggars, as crippled, lame and blind people would be in that society, or peasants (although many Jewish teachers might regard inviting beggars and peasants as an act of piety). The crippled, lame and blind were not permitted on the premises of the probably Essene community at Qumran.1

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Lk 14:13.

Call the poor

 In our Lord’s time, it was not considered proper to ask poor people and handicapped people to public banquets. (The women were not invited either!) But Jesus commanded us to put these needy people at the top of our guest list because they cannot pay us back. If our hearts are right, God will see to it that we are properly rewarded, though getting a reward must not be the motive for our generosity. When we serve others from unselfish hearts, we are laying up treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:20) and becoming “rich toward God” (Luke 12:21).1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 230.

Selfless Motivation Enhances Eternal Reward

Luke 14:14 KJV

And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

Proverbs 3:9 KJV

Honour the LORD with thy substance, And with the firstfruits of all thine increase:

 Our modern world is very competitive, and it is easy for God’s people to become more concerned about profit and loss than they are about sacrifice and service. “What will I get out of it?” may easily become life’s most important question (Matt. 19:27ff). We must strive to maintain the unselfish attitude that Jesus had and share what we have with others.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 230.

 Our motive for sharing must be the praise of God and not the applause of men, the eternal reward in heaven and not the temporary recognition on earth. A pastor friend of mine used to remind me, “You can’t get your reward twice!” and he was right (see Matt. 6:1–18). On the day of judgment, many who today are first in the eyes of men will be last in God’s eyes, and many who are last in the eyes of men will be first in the eyes of God (Luke 13:30).1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 230.

Years ago, late on a stormy night in Philadelphia, an elderly couple walked wearily into a hotel. They approached the night clerk at the desk and practically begged him for a room. Apparently there were three conventions in town, and every hotel was filled to capacity. “Are there any rooms left anywhere?” the old man inquired.

“I’m sorry. All of our rooms are taken,” the clerk said. “But I can’t send a nice couple like you out into the street and in the rain at one o’clock in the morning. Would you perhaps be willing to sleep in my room? It may not be what you’re used to, but it will be good enough to make you folks comfortable for the night.”

When the couple declined, the young man pressed it. “Don’t worry about me; I’ll be just fine,” the clerk said. “Just take my room.” So the couple agreed.

As he paid his bill the next morning, the older man said to the clerk, “You know what? You are the kind of man who should be the boss of the best hotel in the United States. Maybe someday I’ll build one for you.”

The clerk didn’t think much about that, and two years passed.

The clerk had almost forgotten the incident when he received a letter from the old man. It recalled that stormy night and enclosed a round-trip ticket to New York, asking the young man to pay them a visit.

The old man met him in New York, and led him to the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. He then pointed to a great new building there, a palace of reddish stone, with turrets and watchtowers thrusting up to the sky.

“That,” said the older man, “is the hotel I have just built for you to manage.”

“You must be joking,” the young man said.

“I can assure you that I am not,” said the older man, a sly smile playing around his mouth. The old man’s name was William Waldorf Astor, and the magnificent structure was the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

You see, when we give without worrying about being repaid, we can’t foresee the rewards of our kindnesses. But Jesus guarantees they will be repaid in countless blessings at the resurrection of the righteous — at the end of the world, when he comes to take his faithful people home with him to heaven.

Because that’s where the way of grace leads us: heaven.

SOURCE: Pastor Jeff Samelson in “The Way of Grace Is Clearly Different” on www.sermoncentral.com.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 4:09 PM November 3, 2021.

Jesus Is In The House!

Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Jesus Is In The House!

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

In his book, Building a Contagious Church, Mark Mittleberg asks us to join him in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. As you walk up to the large arena, you see a mass of young people in line for a concert. The headline act is shock-rockeer Marilyn Manson (named after Marilyn Monroe and mass murderer Charles Manson and bills himself as the “Anti-Christ Superstar”). The crowd is noisy and energetic, ready to see a show that most, if not all of us would not even consider attending, to say the least.

As you get closer, you notice a group of people engaging the concertgoers in lively discussion. The protesters are Christians with signs expressing their disapproval of Marilyn Manson and all those who would attend the concert. These zealous protesters are yelling at the crowd, and the Manson fans are shouting back with equal intensity. Though no physical blows are exchanged across the battle lines, a steady barrage of verbal missiles and assaults are launched back and forth. Obviously there is a significant disconnect between the two groups.

Soon another group of Christians enter the mix. It’s a band of 19-29 year olds from a ministry called “the gro-ups”, sponsored by Corinth Reformed Church in Byron Center, Michigan. They unload bags of ice, coolers, and cases of Mountain Dew. They walk up to the pulsating crowd of anxious rockers and begin giving away soft drinks. No signs condemning anyone, no strings attached—just free drinks, a smile and a sincere, “Have a good evening.”

Some of the people going to the concert simply accepted the free drink and moved on. Others say thank you and asked “Why are you doing this?”

The answer was simple with not shame or guilt attached, “We love God and we love you!”

Some snickered and walked away. Others lingered and talked a bit. One young man begins to interact more deeply and even decides to throw away his ticket and help the members of “gro-ups” hand out more drinks! Out of this simple act of service, lives were touched and the love of Jesus was communicated to people who might have no other positive contact with Christians. There was an obvious connection between the two groups.

___

There are all kinds of ideas of what it means to stand up for Jesus. I know of quite a few folks in the “turn or burn” crowd. These folks hand out tracts to Catholics about the eucharist being a “Cookie God”. When most folks turn and shun them, they congratulate themselves for standing for the truth.

In passage tonight we find a powerful spiritual encounter with the Savior. There was a huge crowd, God’s power was on display, sins were forgiven, false doctrine was exposed and God was worshipped. What drew these folks? How was the city prepared? It was simple, word spread that Jesus was in the House!

Think about that for a minute. What if when you came into church tonight, you saw Jesus sitting a few pews back, chatting with the folks who came in early? What would you do differently? Would you sing differently? Would you pray differently? Would you still pass notes and joke with those near you in the pew during worship? Would you tell anyone about our little prayer meeting? What if Jesus, on the way out told us He would see us Sunday morning? Would you do anything different leading up to church? Would you pack the place out because Jesus was in the house? Would you make sure you got to bed Saturday night and got everyone up on time because Jesus was going to show up? Would you make sure your sins were confessed and your soul was ready for whatever spiritual thing God was going to do because Jesus was going to be in the house? Oh if I knew Jesus was going to show up in person things would be way different…. ummmm

Matthew 18:20 KJV

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Tonight we are going to look at what can happen when we take God at His word and really believe that Jesus is in the house. This is what we must do with the fact that Jesus is in the house.

Noise It

Mark 2:1 KJV

And again he entered into Capernaum, after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.

Mark 1:43–45 KJV

And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; 

And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. 

But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.

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.

Attend It

 Mark 2:2 (KJV)

 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

Hebrews 10:25 KJV

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Hear It

 Mark 2:2 (KJV)

 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

Matthew 5:2 KJV

And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

Luke 8:1 KJV

And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,

1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Romans 10:17 KJV

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

Uncover It

Mark 2:3–4 KJV

And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 

And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

 • Don’t let anything get in your way.

 • We will do what it takes to show up when we really believe that Jesus is in the house!

 • We will not let personal preferences, or differences of opinion keep us away if we really believe that Jesus is in the house!

Believe It!

 Mark 2:5 (KJV)

 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

 • Belief accesses Grace for forgiveness

 • Belief accesses Grace for healing

Witness It!

Mark 2:6–10 KJV

But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 

Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? 

And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? 

Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? 

But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

 • Skepticism melts when exposed to the manifested presence of Jesus!

 • Not sure if its true? COME AND SEE…. JESUS IS IN THE HOUSE

Experience It

Mark 2:11–12 KJV

I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 

And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

 • Experience Deliverance

 • Experience Forgiveness

 • Experience Healing

 • Experience Life Changing Power

Be Amazed By It!

 Mark 2:12 (KJV)

 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament

???????? ????????: cause someone to be so astounded as to be practically overwhelmed

Become so absolutely overwhelmed by the manifest presence of Jesus Christ, you cannot help but burst forth in praise and worship.

John 4:24 KJV

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

My dear friends, if our eyes of faith would be enlightened a bit, the power of God would be unleashed in a way we have not seen! Jesus promised it.

Matthew 18:20 KJV

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

So since Jesus is in the house: Let us 

 • Noise it!

 • Attend it!

 • Hear it!

 • Uncover it!

 • Believe it!

 • Witness it!

 • Experience it!

 • And Be Amazed By It – driven to passionate worship!

After All…. Jesus is in the House!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:22 PM October 19, 2021.

Light Logic

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Light Logic

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

I remember reading a sermon illustration given by the powerful proclaimer, Rev. Dr. A. W. Mays of Austin, Texas.

He told us of an incident that took place in his hometown of Austin concerning a streetlight. In Austin there was a high crime area, and the residents of the community petitioned the city of Austin to put up streetlights in this crime area. Dr. Mays stated that once the lights were up crime subsided for a while. But someone took a rock or something and knocked out the streetlights and crime in that area resumed. This took place over and over again… The lesson is that the only thing that will penetrate darkness is the presence of light.

___

We have finally turned the corner in our 2021 Bible Reading Challenge and are in the New Testament. This evening’s text is part of the famous Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is teaching us that believers are to be salt and light, making a difference in this wicked and dark world.

The message contained in our verses this evening is not only that we should be light contrasting our actions from those of the unregenerate masses, but also it is a message of how we can best use the light we have as Born Again believers. Tonight let us closely examine our Savior’s teaching and discover some powerful Light Logic.

You Are The Light

 Matthew 5:14 (KJV)

 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

As salt makes a difference in people’s food, so light makes a difference in their surroundings.

Jesus is the Light

John 1:4–6 KJV

In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

John 1:9 KJV

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

You Were Full of Darkness

Proverbs 4:19 KJV

The way of the wicked is as darkness: They know not at what they stumble.

Ephesians 5:8 KJV

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

You Have Christ in You

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.

You Now Are THE Light of the World

Matthew 5:14 KJV

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

You say, “Now, wait a minute, pastor. You may be the light, but I’m not the light. I’m excused.” Oh, no. My dear friend, you are the light of the world. And, what happens, so many times, is that our members don’t understand that.

• It’s like a general who calls his army together, and he lectures to them on the principles of war and tells them all about warfare. And then, he sends them off to eat a chicken dinner while he puts his rifle on his shoulder and goes off to war.•

1 Adrian Rogers, “Bright Lights in a Dark World,” in Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (Signal Hill, CA: Rogers Family Trust, 2017), Mt 5:14–16.

A Gathering Of Lights Cannot Be Hidden!

 Matthew 5:14 (KJV)

 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

The More Folks That Get Saved, The More Light that Shines

Daniel 12:3 KJV

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Church is the Gathering of Individual Lights to Make a Bright Display.

Do Not Cover, But Display Your Light

Matthew 5:15 KJV

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

A light is ?rst and foremost something which is meant to be seen. The houses in Palestine were very dark, with only one little circular window perhaps not more than eighteen inches across. The lamp was like a sauce-boat ?lled with oil with the wick ?oating in it. It was not so easy to rekindle a lamp in the days before matches existed. Normally the lamp stood on the lamp stand, which would be no more than a roughly shaped branch of wood; but when people went out, for safety’s sake, they took the lamp from its stand and put it under an earthen bushel measure, so that it might burn without risk until they came back. The primary duty of the light of the lamp was to be seen.

So, Christianity is something which is meant to be seen. As someone has well said, ‘There can be no such thing as secret discipleship, for either the secrecy destroys the discipleship, or the discipleship destroys the secrecy.’ Our Christianity should be perfectly visible to everyone.

Further, this Christianity should be visible not only within the Church. A Christianity whose effects stop at the church door is not much use to anyone. It should be even more visible in the ordinary activities of the world. Our Christianity should be visible in the way we treat a shop assistant across the counter, in the way we order a meal in a restaurant, in the way we treat our employees or serve our employer, in the way we play a game or drive or park a car, in the daily language we use, in the daily literature we read. As Christians, we should be just as much a Christian in the factory, the workshop, the shipyard, the mine, the schoolroom, the surgery, the kitchen, the golf course and the playing ?eld as we are in church. Jesus did not say: ‘You are the light of the Church’; he said: ‘You are the light of the world’—and in our lives in the world our Christianity should be evident to all.1

1 William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew, Third Ed., The New Daily Study Bible (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press, 2001), 142–143.

WHO TURNED OUT THE LIGHTS?

“Why would anyone try to hide a light?” Jesus asked. Unfortunately many Christians do just that. We hide our light by

• being quiet when we should speak

• going along with the crowd

• denying the truth

• letting sin dim our witness for Christ

• not explaining the truth to others

• ignoring the needs of others

Be a beacon of truth—don’t shut off your light from the rest of the world.

1 Bruce B. Barton, Matthew, Life Application Bible Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1996), 85.

God has called us to shine.… Let no man or woman say that they cannot shine because they have not so much influence as some others may have. What God wants you to do is to use the influence you have.… Remember, a small light will do a good deal when it is in a very dark place. Put one little tallow candle in the middle of a large hall, and it will give a good deal of light.

Dwight L. Moody*1

1 Elliot Ritzema and Elizabeth Vince, eds., 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Modern Church, Pastorum Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2013).

Shine Your Light

 Matthew 5:16 (KJV)

 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Before Men- not for men’s approval

Matthew 6:2 KJV

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Through Your Good Works

1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Get Glory For The Father

Romans 8:15 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.

At the end of the 2012 baseball season, many people expected the San Francisco Giants to put outfielder Melky Cabrera, who had been suspended for using a banned substance, on their postseason roster to help them make a run at a world championship. The team decided character was as important as production, and left Cabrera off the roster; they won the World Series anyway. In 2014 the Giants won another championship, and Bobby Evans, one of the men who makes key decisions for the club, says his goal is the same as it was in 2012: to honor Christ in all he does.

Evans has been with the Giants since 2006, and though his title has changed, his job includes negotiating player contracts, helping to acquire free agents, and signing minor league talent. Evans says there can be pressure to be dishonest in some situations, but he wants to be known for being truthful. He said, “You want your life to point people to Christ. It starts for me with my own relationship with Christ. That’s going to direct and dictate what influence I have for Christ in my family, in my marriage, and in the workplace.”

—Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:34 PM October 6, 2021.

You Be You!

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

You Be You

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

“You Be You” This phrase is often quoted by Facebook prophets, preachers, and self proclaimed experts of self help virtue. This phrase is often used to embolden people to reject anyone else’s judgment and boldly and publically embrace their own choice, expression and even sexual identity. But wait??!!? What does the Bible say about our personal identity?

This is actually the subject of Jonah 1:1-9. Jonah was a prophet. He didn’t want to be a prophet. God called him to a people he hated. He didn’t want to go. He didn’t want to be a prophet. He ran away from who he was. Just because Jonah was upset with who he was did not change who he was. So while God called him north, he ran south and sailed *souther*… So God followed him and sent a storm. The pegan sailors knew that some god was mad and they cast lots to figure out whose god was mad and the lot fell on Jonah. Immediately they wanted to know who he was… what was his identity.

Jonah 1:7–8 KJV

And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. 

Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?

Hmm. What was Jonah going to do? It was at that point Jonah began to come face to face with his identity. He was not his own. He had to embrace the fact that as a believer he was not his own. His identity belonged to the One he served.

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

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.

We must first embrace our own old identity, as Jesus said, “if any man will come after me, let him deny himself . . . “ We must embrace it and deny it, then by faith accept our spiritual identity in Jesus Christ. The analogy is given, for purposes of illustrating, of a fifteen year old, unmarried and pregnant girl. Abortion is not an option and the girl has made the decision to give the baby up for adoption. Should she see the baby prior to giving it up or not. One might suggest it would be easier to have the baby and leave the hospital without have seen him and avoid the trauma of separation. That would seem easier, but would she have faced the reality of the situation?

Did you ever try to give away something you never had? Without seeing the baby, there’s a sense of unreality about the situation. Of course, she’s carried the baby in her womb, but there’s a difference between that and holding the baby and owning him. Once the young mother has held the baby and owned and loved him for a day or so, and then given him to the adoptive parents, the reality hits with full force. Then it’s possible to go through the grief process, the separation anxiety or whatever sense of loss the mother experiences.

My point is, when it comes to our humanly achieved identity, each of us needs to ask the question, “Have I owned my ‘baby,’ or is there still a sense of unreality about the identity out of which I live?” For us to accept our new identity in Jesus Christ, each of us must define our humanly achieved or fleshly, worldly identity and look it squarely to understand what we must lose if we are to live out of our true identity in the Lord Jesus Christ. We must “lose our baby,” which has been in the formation stage for a lifetime, if we’re to know the joy and blessing of our new identity as accepted and dearly loved children of God in Christ.

I’ve “owned my baby,” the identity I’ve held of positive performance-based acceptance, of being a good pastor, of performing well as the preacher and receiving the acceptance I get from “a job well done” or “a great sermon,” that handshake of affirmation at the back door, of pleasing other people which is all a part of my past identity. I own it and I’ve given it up and I receive the identity of Jesus Christ.

__

So as Jonah came face to face with his sin, he had to embrace his identity as a believer. Tonight as we dig into this powerful story. Let us realize that as believers we are not our own. We have a new identity. Only then can we live out the Facebook admonition, You Be You.

Jonah 1:9 KJV

And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.

Jonah’s flight is stopped by the questions from the heathen crewmen. He hears them, and in so doing shows the first indication of overcoming the human impulse to hide. He is no longer simply one of the crowd. Jonah’s hopes for anonymity were dashed by the hopes of the sailors to identify the cause of the storm.

Now his claim is open to being challenged by the pagans. They were in no doubt that the gods were capable of rescuing them if only they could find the right key, that is, the right god, and the cause of the storm. In putting Jonah on the spot, the pagan sailors were putting his God on the spot. It is they who force the issue. Jonah appears to have been happy to let the storm do its worst, but the pagans will not accept this and Jonah, in extremis, is forced to declare himself as one who ‘fears’ the Lord. His claim will now be put to the test.1

1 Rosemary A. Nixon, The Message of Jonah: Presence in the Storm, ed. Alec Motyer, Derek Tidball, The Bible Speaks Today (England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2003), 102.

I Am One Of The Chosen

A Hebrew

Genesis 24:7 KJV

The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.

“I am an Hebrew”—that meant a lot. The Hebrews were known to be monotheistic; that is, they worshiped one God, never an idol. They had no other gods before them but worshiped the God who is the Creator.1

1 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: The Prophets (Jonah/Micah), electronic ed., vol. 29 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 29.

I am a New Creature 

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

I Belong to the Savior

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.

I Fear The Lord

Fear – Worship

In one sense the prophet ignores the question concerning his occupation. He does not say that God has given him the task of going to Nineveh; he is escaping still from his vocation. Yet in another sense he has stated it by saying that he ‘fears the Lord’. In one sense he does fear the Lord, for he is an Israelite, one of God’s covenant people. Yet again he does not fear the Lord, for he is running away from him. He also overlooks the question about where he is from; only the reader listening in at this point knows that he comes from the presence of the Lord.1

1 Rosemary A. Nixon, The Message of Jonah: Presence in the Storm, ed. Alec Motyer, Derek Tidball, The Bible Speaks Today (England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2003), 101.

The LORD – Jehovah

Jonah had not been asked about his religion, but he volunteers the information that he is a worshiper of (or “one who fears” rsv) Yahweh, the maker of sea and land. Smith-Goodspeed has “I stand in awe of the LORD.” The combination of the two parts of his answer may be taken in either of two ways: (1) since he is a Hebrew, he must therefore be a worshiper of Yahweh, or (2) he is a Hebrew, and in the restrictive sense, one of those who worships Yahweh. The first of these two is more likely. Yahweh is the personal name of the God of Israel, and is generally represented in English translations by “the LORD.” (jb is an exception in this respect). “The LORD” is a title, whereas Yahweh is a name, which might seem to favor using a name approximating in sound to Yahweh in a modern translation

1 Brynmor F. Price and Eugene Albert Nida, A Translators’ Handbook on the Book of Jonah, UBS Handbook Series (Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, 1978), 61–62.

If, however, one is to employ the expression “Lord,” it is important to combine features of importance and control, that is to say, a term should suggest that the person involved is a very important individual and that in some senses he governs or controls individuals who address him as “Lord.” An equivalent in some languages is simply “ruler”; in other cases, “master”; and there are some situations in which the closest equivalent indigenous term is “leader.” More frequently, however, the equivalent expression is “chief.”1

1 Brynmor F. Price and Eugene Albert Nida, A Translators’ Handbook on the Book of Jonah, UBS Handbook Series (Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, 1978), 62.

 • Not man

 • Not another god

 • Not the devil

Exodus 3:13–14 KJV

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

I Fear The God of Heaven

In apposition to the name Yahweh, which is placed in an emphatic position, is the descriptive title God of heaven. This title occurs mainly in late books of the Old Testament, but also in Genesis 24:3, 7. Heaven is the dwelling-place of God, but this expression God of heaven also suggests the supremacy of Israel’s God over all rivals. As God of heaven, he is also concerned with the earth, since he made the sea and the dry land (the Hebrew order here, as against tev), which makes up its surface (Gen 1:9, 10), and hence controls the storms. The writer leaves us to infer the lack of logic in Jonah’s position; how could he hope to escape such a God by traveling westwards?1

1 Brynmor F. Price and Eugene Albert Nida, A Translators’ Handbook on the Book of Jonah, UBS Handbook Series (Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, 1978), 62.

The Creator

Psalm 115:15 KJV

Ye are blessed of the LORD Which made heaven and earth.

Psalm 146:6 KJV

Which made heaven, and earth, The sea, and all that therein is: Which keepeth truth for ever:

Nowhere To Hide

Psalm 139:7–10 KJV

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 

If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 

Even there shall thy hand lead me, And thy right hand shall hold me.

He Is All Powerful

2 Chronicles 36:23 KJV

Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.

1 John 3:20 KJV

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

He Is Merciful

Psalm 136:23 KJV

Who remembered us in our low estate: For his mercy endureth for ever:

If you are born again, you are not who you once were!

1 Corinthians 6:9–11 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, 

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

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.

Rather than hiding from or fighting who God is transforming you to be, embrace who you have become and YOU BE YOU!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:52 PM September 28, 2021.

Pass It On

Wednesday, September 8th, 2021

Pass It On

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

A little boy was leading his sister up a mountain path and the way was not too easy. “Why this isn’t a path at all,” the little girl complained. “Its all rocky and bumpy.” Her little brother kept on up the mountain, pausing just long enough to call out “Sure, but the bumps are what you climb on.”

Christian leaders often get discouraged because they misunderstand their calling. Some fail to understand that they have a responsibility to proclaim the Bible truths that they discover, and others assume that the response of the hearers is somehow a barometer of their own obedience to God. Tonight we will look at God’s calling in the life of the Prophet Ezekiel. We will see that God wanted to make sure that there was one thing that the people had to know. It was not a certain doctrine or a certain warning. The people had to know for sure that there had been a prophet of God among them.

Pass It On In Spite of Potential Rejection

Entrusted with God’s Holy Truth

Ezekiel 2:1–2 KJV

And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. 

And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

Psalm 138:2 KJV

I will worship toward thy holy temple, And praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

Called to reach your own people.

Ezekiel 2:3–4 KJV

And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. 

For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.

 1. Rebellious actions against God

 2. Rebellious history with God

 3. Impudent = obstinate

 4. Stiff hearted

 5. Resisting the truth on purpose.

Romans 1:18–24 KJV

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 

And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

God leaves their free will intact.

Ezekiel 2:5 KJV

And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.

They must know that they had God’s anointed prophet among them.

 1. They may not listen to his message.

 2. They may not respond to his message.

 3. They must know that God’s message was given.

Pass it On Boldly

Ezekiel 2:6–8 KJV

And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. 

And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious. 

But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.

1 Corinthians 4:1–4 KJV

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 

For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

Be not afraid of the godless people.

 1. They are like scorpions – full of poison

 2. Do not fear their words – inflammatory response to your message, personal attacks.

 3. Do not fear their looks.

Ezekiel 3:8 KJV

Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.

Speak the Word’s of God, not your opinion.

Your silence would be rebellion.

Pass It On Clearly

Speak God’s words.

Ezekiel 3:4 KJV

And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.

Many will not listen.

Ezekiel 3:7–9 KJV

But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. 

Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. 

As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

This is done to give them another chance.

Ezekiel 3:10–11 KJV

Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. 

And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.

Pass On The Warning

Ezekiel 3:17–21 KJV

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. 

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. 

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. 

Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

 A. Trusted with the truth.

 B. Responsible to proclaim that truth.

 C. Not responsible for negative response to that truth.

I heard a story about a guy who applied for a job as an usher at a theater in the mall. As a part of the interview process, the manager asked him, “What would you do in case a fire breaks out?”

The young guy answered, “Don’t worry about me. I can get out fine.”

That’s exactly how many in today’s world respond to a lost and dying world around them. If you asked them “What would you do if Jesus came back tomorrow?” they would probably respond, “Oh, don’t worry about me. I’d be fine.”

But what is all to easy to forget is that you’re an usher! It isn’t enough just to get out yourself. You are responsible for helping others know the way.

SOURCE: From Charles Cockroft’s Sermon: Am I My Brother’s Keeper

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:26 PM September 8, 2021.