Archive for June, 2019

Single But Not Second Class

Friday, June 7th, 2019

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

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

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

Satan’s worldwide convention:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 Corinthians 7:33 KJV 1900

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

1 Corinthians 7:34 KJV 1900

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

1 Corinthians 7:35 KJV 1900

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

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

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

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

The Lord Will Help You To Your Feet.

Psalm 145:14 KJV 1900

The Lord upholdeth all that fall,

And raiseth up all those that be bowed down.

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

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

Proverbs 24:16 KJV 1900

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

But the wicked shall fall into mischief.

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

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

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

•    The Lord will provide the sustenance you need.

•    The Lord will open His hand of provision

Psalm 145:15 KJV 1900

The eyes of all wait upon thee;

And thou givest them their meat in due season.

Psalm 145:16 KJV 1900

Thou openest thine hand,

And satisfiest the desire of every living thing.

The Lord Is Righteous in His Dealings.

Psalm 145:17 KJV 1900

The Lord is righteous in all his ways,

And holy in all his works.

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

•    There may be things you do not yet understand.

Isaiah 55:8 KJV 1900

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

Neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

Isaiah 55:9 KJV 1900

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are my ways higher than your ways,

And my thoughts than your thoughts.

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

Psalm 37:4 KJV 1900

Delight thyself also in the Lord;

And he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Proverbs 3:5–6 KJV 1900

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;

And lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him,

And he shall direct thy paths.

•    It is all a part of His providential plan.

Romans 8:29 KJV 1900

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lord Is Near Them That Call On Him

Psalm 145:18 KJV 1900

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

To all that call upon him in truth.

•    Those that call on Him in truth

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

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

•    Those that call with a broken heart.

Psalm 34:18 KJV 1900

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

And saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

•    The Lord will preserve them

Psalm 145:20–21 KJV 1900

The Lord preserveth all them that love him:

But all the wicked will he destroy.

My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord:

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

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

1 Corinthians 7:20 KJV 1900

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

1 Corinthians 7:21 KJV 1900

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

1 Corinthians 7:22 KJV 1900

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

1 Corinthians 7:23 KJV 1900

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

1 Corinthians 7:24 KJV 1900

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

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

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

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

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

The Essence and Attributes of God

Friday, June 7th, 2019

God’s First Responders / 1 Timothy 1:17

1 Timothy 1:17 KJV 1900

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

I. The Essence of God

Essence = that which underlies all outward manifestation; the reality itself, whether material or immaterial; the substratum of anything; that in which the qualities or attributes inhere.

A. Spirituality

John 4:24 KJV 1900

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

1. He is immaterial and incorporeal.

That is why images are forbidden

Exodus 20:4 KJV 1900

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

2. He is invisible.

Exodus 33:20 KJV 1900

And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

John 1:18 KJV 1900

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

1 Timothy 6:16 KJV 1900

Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

3. He is alive.

Joshua 3:10 KJV 1900

And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.

1 Samuel 17:26 KJV 1900

And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

Psalm 84:2 KJV 1900

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord:

My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

Psalm 115:3 KJV 1900

But our God is in the heavens:

He hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

4. He is a person

a. intellect (Gen. 18:19; Exod. 3:7; Acts 15:18)

b. sensibility (Gen. 6:6; Ps. 103:8–14; John 3:16),

c. volition (Gen. 3:15; Ps. 115:3; John 6:38).

d. speaking (Gen. 1:3)

e. seeing (Gen. 11:5)

f. hearing (Ps. 94:9)

g. grieving (Gen. 6:6)

h. repenting (Gen. 6:6)

i. being angry (Deut. 1:37)

j. jealous (Exod. 20:5)

k. compassionate (Ps. 111:4)

B. Self-Existence

Exodus 3:14 KJV 1900

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.

John 8:58 KJV 1900

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

Isaiah 41:4 KJV 1900

Who hath wrought and done it,

Calling the generations from the beginning?

I the Lord, the first,

And with the last; I am he.

Revelation 1:8 KJV 1900

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

C. Immensity – not limited to space

1 Kings 8:27 KJV 1900

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

2 Chronicles 2:6 KJV 1900

But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?

D. Eternity – not limited by time

Genesis 21:33 KJV 1900

And Abraham planted a grove in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God.

Psalm 90:2 KJV 1900

Before the mountains were brought forth,

Or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world,

Even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Isaiah 57:15 KJV 1900

For thus saith the high and lofty One

That inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy;

I dwell in the high and holy place,

With him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit,

To revive the spirit of the humble,

And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

II. The Attributes of God

A. The Non-Moral Attributes

1. Omnipresence. – everywhere present

1 Kings 8:27 KJV 1900

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

Psalm 139:7–10 KJV 1900

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.

2. Omniscience. – Infinite knowledge

Proverbs 15:3 KJV 1900

The eyes of the Lord are in every place,

Beholding the evil and the good.

Psalm 147:5 KJV 1900

Great is our Lord, and of great power:

His understanding is infinite.

3. Omnipotence. – All Powerful

Genesis 17:1 KJV 1900

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

Revelation 4:8 KJV 1900

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

Job 42:2 KJV 1900

I know that thou canst do every thing,

And that no thought can be withholden from thee.

4. Immutability. Unchangeable

James 1:17 KJV 1900

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Malachi 3:6 KJV 1900

For I am the Lord, I change not;

Therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

B. The Moral Attributes

1. Holiness

Joshua 24:19 KJV 1900

And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

2. Righteousness and justice.

2 Chronicles 12:6 KJV 1900

Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The Lord is righteous.

Ezra 9:15 KJV 1900

O Lord God of Israel, thou art righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this.

Genesis 18:25 KJV 1900

That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

Psalm 89:14 KJV 1900

Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne:

Mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

3. Goodness. (Love, Benevolence, Mercy, Grace)

Mark 10:18 KJV 1900

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

4. Truth.

1 John 5:20 KJV 1900

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

Jeremiah 10:10 KJV 1900

But the Lord is the true God,

He is the living God, and an everlasting king:

At his wrath the earth shall tremble,

And the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.