Thanksgiving Community Service: Every Man

Posted by Stephen

We Are Here To Serve

Posted by Stephen

After working up my nerve to ride my bike in the frigid weather (well, as frigid as Arkansas weather can get before Thanksgiving), I donned my new winter cycling gloves, turned on Runkeeper on my iPhone, and set off for my 12 mile bike ride.

As I had barely gone a mile, I came upon an old, beat-up truck that was stalled in the middle of the road by Prescott High School. Politely, I went around the truck as it struggled to start. Just as I passed it, God reminded me that I am here to serve just as He came to serve.

"But God, I'll have to stop my workout! And I can't operate my iPhone with the gloves on. I'll have to take them off, too! I mean, I don't have any expertise in making stalled vehicles work anyway!"

It was then that I realized my selfishness. So I stopped, rode back, took off my gloves, paused my workout, and offered to help.

I asked the man if I could help in any way. Nodding, he got out of the truck and uttered some unintelligible words that I understood to mean "push the truck to the side of the road." So we did. He thanked me for my help, assured me that the truck would start in a few minutes and that he was close enough to the place he was going to walk, then he got a tool from his truck and went to work at a house nearby.

As I started my iPhone workout app again and felt the warmth of my gloves on my cold fingers, I began to realize that I am here to serve. I am here to be the hands and feet of Jesus. The hands and feet of the Good News. There is nothing more important than serving, especially those who are less fortunate.

God, thank you for beginning my servolution. Let me be always open and willing to serve "the least of these" in Your Name. Let Your servolution spread from your heart to my life to the community I live in. Amen.


(Post from Stephen's Live. Move. Exist. Blog.)

HALF-BAKED

Posted by Perry


HALF BAKED

HOSEA 7:8
CBC 11/15/09 SM
Hos 7:8 Ephraim, he mixeth himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake not turned.
Ephraim – son of Joseph (Israel); tribe descended from Joseph of the Nation of Israel
he mixeth himself among the peoples
i. e., with the pagan; he “mixed” or “mingled” himself among or with them, so as to corrupt himself, learned their works”.
Psa 106:35 but they mixed with the nations and learned to do as they did.
God had forbidden all intermarriage with the pagan, Exo 34:12 Don't make treaties with any of those people. If you do, it will be like falling into a trap. Exo 34:16 Your men will even marry their women and be influenced to worship their gods.
2Co 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
Such are the ways of those who put themselves amid occasions of sin.

Ephraim is - (literally, “is become”) a cake (literally, “on the coals”) not turned [HALF BAKED]
“Ephraim” had been “mingled,” kneaded up into one, as it were, “with the pagan,” their ways, their idolatries, their vices.
God would correct them, and they, withholding themselves from His discipline, and not yielding themselves wholly to it, were but spoiled.
The sort of cake, to which Ephraim is here likened, literally, “circular,” was a thin pancake, to which a scorching heat was applied on one side;
If it remained long “unturned,” it was burned on the one side; while it continued unbaked, doughy, recking, on the other;
the fire spoiling, not penetrating it through. Such were the people;
such are too many so-called Christians;
they united in themselves hypocrisy and ungodliness, outward performance and inward lukewarmness;
the one overdone, but without any wholesome effect on the other.
The one was scorched and black; the other, steamed, damp, and lukewarm;
the whole worthless, spoiled irremediably, fit only to be cast away.
The fire of God’s judgment, with which the people should have been corrected,
made but an outward impression upon them, and reached not within,
nor to any thorough change, so that they were the more hopelessly spoiled through the means which God used for their correction.
A/ found out Sin is a Lie - In the Garden Satan said "Hath God Said?" We like (Gomer/Ephriam) deceived into thinking that her lovers (sin) would do for her. But it was a lie, all they did was take from her, then cast her aside.

B/ found out Sin is a Delusion - Sin is naturally treacherous. Sin offers much pleasure, but in the end man is cruelly betrayed. Sin offers itself as a friend, then becomes a fiend. Gomer sought pleasure and someone to build her ego, but ended being used and cast away.

C/ found out Sin is Separation - Sin separates man from God and man from man. The sinner is not only separated from God here and now, but dying in sin, is eternally separated from God. Gomer was separated from all those who truly loved her by her sin.

D/ found out Sin is Perversion - Sin is crooked, a perverse , distorted thing, distorts man’s thoughts of God distorts His will for our lives.
only think of ourselves, not of God or others.

E/ found out Sin is Servitude – sin brings servitude. Gomer, Samson, and the whole nation of Israel paid the price of servitude for their sins.

F/ found out Sin is Emptiness - A Man or a Woman who serves sin gets nothing for it. Failure, defeat, disgust and disappointment are written over the life of a sinner. The rewards of sin are confusion and dissatisfaction.

G/ found out Sin is a Mistake - All who sin discover, sooner or later, that they have made a mistake. I wonder how many times PEOPLE wished THEY could go back and undue THEIR sins.

H/ found out Sin Ruins Life and Hope - As we view Gomer on the Auction Block, we see a life in ruin, a woman without hope.

CONCL: THE MESSAGE OF LOVE

A/ GO YET LOVE - Hosea 3:1Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.
God was loving them [us] and looking upon them [us]; and they [we], all the while, were looking to other gods.Rom 5:8 But God has made clear his love to us, in that, when we were still sinners, Christ gave his life for us.

B/ THE COST OF LOVE - Hosea 3:2So I bought her to me for fifteen of silver, and an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley: [JOHN 3:16]

So then His Goodness overflows into beneficence, and condescension, and graciousness and mercy and forgiving love, and joy in imparting Himself, and complacence in the creatures which he has formed, and re-formed, redeemed and sanctified for His glory.
Well may His creatures “tremble toward” it, with admiring wonder that all this can be made their’s!

AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

Posted by Perry


ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
LUKE 17:11-19
CBC 11/8/09 SM
R we thankful in every situation?
ILL: 2 men walking thru field/spotted enraged bull/ran for nearest fence/apparent they weren’t going 2 make it/1 shouted to other, “pray”/I don’t pray in public other shouted/U must companion shouted/all right, I’ll say the only prayer I know…”O Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful.”
Christians shouldn’t confine “thanksgiving” to just November.
Our lesson in thanksgiving is found in Luke 17:11-19
THE POSITION OF ALL v11,12
· In An Awful Position
o Walking dead
o Evicted from their home
o Forced into leper colony
o Couldn’t work or worship @ the temple
o Hadn’t felt touch of wife…
o Couldn’t kiss their children
o No vacation with friends
o Couldn’t go to church
o Couldn’t go near Jesus
§ b/c of the “law”
(sinners like that – afar off from Jesus & Heaven b/c of the “law”)…
· could have said,
o “we’re not so bad
o we’re all in same condition
o my leprosy not as bad as his, so I’m doing ok
· 2 many today living in “denial”
o won’t admit their need…
o find someone worse than them
o we live in “spiritual” leper colony in America
o I’m not so bad, I haven’t…
o I’m better than the hypocrites at CBC…
(sin puts us in an Awful Position)
· In An Approachable Position
o Thankful Jesus goes where the law can’t tread!!!
o Jesus came to “rescue” sinners
o Jesus can reach us in our awful position
§ Family can’t
§ Friends can’t
§ Church can’t
§ Jesus can not only reach us, but save us
§ He doesn’t stand afar off, ashamed of us
THE PRAYER OF ALL v 13,14
· Their Observation
o The saw & sensed their need
§ B4 Jesus can help U must admit ur need
§ Step 1 of 12 admit your problem…
· Alcoholic
· Sex aholic
· Drug addict
· Rotten sinner
*they cried out for mercy
* Their Obedience
* prayer w/out obedience is useless
* Jesus said go to priest
* priest no power 2 heal
* weren’t healed immediately
* as they obeyed they were healed
* Faith doesn’t need any evidence, it simply obeys
QUOTE: “Faith is coming to the edge of all you can see and feel and taking one more step into the darkness – trusting that God will either catch you or teach you how to fly!”
THE PRAISE OF ONE v 15-19
· The Opportunity of Praise
o Wasn’t content 2 to 2 church & C the priest
o Ran back 2 Jesus 2 give Him thanks
o He wanted a relationship, not a religion
o Do we see a “need” 2 praise
§ How do U praise?
o ten men exposed to power of God, only 1 sought personal relationship w/ Him
o God’s blessing poured out on everybody, not just his children
Mat 5:45 …He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong.
o do U only use God like 911, when you’re N trouble?
o He wants relationship w/ us all the time
· The Object of Praise
o Where are the other 9?
§ Kissing their wife
§ Hugging the kids
§ Down at deer camp
§ Applying 4 a job
o but one had diff. priorities
§ he wanted to do all that too
§ but He put Jesus 1st
§ w/ loud voice he glorified God
§ we same intensity he cried for mercy, he glorified God!
CONCL: FEELING THANKFUL IS DIFFERENT THAN GIVING THANKS!
· man threw himself @ Jesus’ feet and thanked Him
o God saddened by #’s that R 2 busy to stop & give Him thanks
o Or convinced themselves they’ve “earned” it themselves
1Th 5:18 Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.
· diff. between “feeling” gratitude & “expressing” gratitude
Heb 13:15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
· fruit of lips, not a “warm fuzzy” feeling in your heart
o don’t just feel it,
o TELL GOD HOW THANKFUL U R!
INV: 90% settled 4 less/1 got eternal salvation

Desperate Households

Posted by Perry


DESPERATE HOUSEHOLDS
MARRIED, BUT NOT BEST FRIENDS
SONG OF SOLOMON 5:16

(sermon notes for Sunday Morning 11/1/09)

Can U say spouse is Best Friend?
God joins 2 into 1flesh…

· more than lovers
· joining hearts
· joining dreams
· joining thoughts
· best friends
Son 5:16 His mouth is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
Ladies – no relationship should come close to that U have w/ Husband
· children
· girlfriends
· another man
Men – no relationship should come close to that U have w/ Wife
· buddy
· coworker
· hunting partner
· memb. Tree house fort
· secret club
It’s not “automatic” b/c you…
· exchange vows
· trade rings
· swap spit
Major cause of lack of friendship in marriage is premarital sex in dating!
· physical takes priority over
o romantic
o dating relationship
o friendship stops growing
COMPANIONSHIP [my loved one, my friend]
Ill: Guy likes golf/Girl likes 2 workout
Like each other so try others interest
Get married/take other for granted
Companionship not that important
He plays golf & she works out
Don’t really like each other’s interest
Guy meet girl on golf course…
Girl meets guy at the gym…
Divorce next step…found someone to be married to and be their friend!
· How do U spend ur leisure time?
o Going different directions?
o Recipe for disaster
COMPANIONSHIP IMPORTANT B/C…
#1 Unhealthy for married person to spend the most enjoyable moments of their life in the company of someone else.
· why get married if…
o just want to hang out w/ the guys all the time
o gals want to talk on phone to gal friends and shop till they drop all the time
o if all u need in spare time is tv anyway why the spouse?
· ask God to give you common interests
#2 Because pursuing your own interests without your spouse demonstrates selfishness
#3 Because this will lead to a fulfilling marriage.
· happier as a give not a taker
· must have fun together to associate happiness together
#4 Because shared experiences lead to shared feelings
· if God made 2 into 1 makes sense those 2 will do things together often!
CONVERSATION [mouth is most sweet]
Not bubblegum flavored lip gloss…
Sweet in what comes out of their mouth…WORDS!
#1 What do close friends do?
· share themselves w/ each other
· confide in each other
· learn more about each other
· discuss their innermost thoughts, ideas, and goals w/ each other
Typically, women have greater need for conversation than men do.
Helps her feel united & bonded…also loved and cared for.
#2 Goal of courtship is 2 fold:
· get to know each other better
· convey how much we love each other
#3 Why do couples stop talking?
· too busy with work
· different interests
· selfishness
· fighting
#4 Enemies of good conversation
· Using words as punishment
· Using words to force agreement
· Dwelling on mistakes, past or present
#5 Friends of good conversation
· Undivided attention
· Giving a response
· Respecting their opinion
· Speaking in love w/ kindness
· Talking just to talk
· Positive praising
#6 Benefits of conversing:
· clearer understanding of each other
· learn how to meet each other’s needs
· become best friends
COMMITMENT [altogether desirable]
#1 Commitment to Sacrifice
· lay down life for our friends
#2 Commitment to Closeness
· doesn’t happen by accident…only on purpose
· rate closeness to your spouse on scale of 1 to 10 (write on bulletin, don’t let other see it…show it)
o national average – guys write 8, gals write 2
o marriages don’t “fall” apart, they “drift” apart
#3 Commitment to honesty
· 3 types of liars

o born liar
o band-aid liar
o protector liar
#4 Commitment to Prayer
1Pe 3:7 In a similar way, you husbands must live with your wives in an understanding manner, as with a most delicate vessel. Honor them as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing may interfere [exscind – cut out] with your prayers.
#5 Commitment to a Good Spirit
· Women need attention
o Men need admiration
· Women need love
o Men need respect
· Women want leadership
o Men want a following

Pro 2:16 To take you out of the power of the strange woman, who says smooth words with her tongue;
· 3 ways to never change your husband:
o nagging
o criticizing
o physical punishment (i.e. w/holding sex)
· How husbands can respond…
o Clam up
o Blow up
o Give up 60% of marriages today prove this
#6 Commitment to Unconditional Love
“It’s not love that sustains your commitment…it’s commitment that sustains your love.”