Sunday Morning 4/17/2011

Posted by Sherry

WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A REAL “FORGIVER”

Philemon 1:4-8

CBC 4/17/11 SM PALM SUNDAY

Jesus entered the city at the beginning of Passion Week

The crowd expressed their love for Him

At the end of the week the crowd was calling for His execution by means of crucifixion

On the cross Jesus prayed, “Father FORGIVE THEM...”

What does it take to be a real “Forgiver”

  • Have you ever been...
    • slandered
    • betrayed
    • lied to
    • crucified (fig. speaking)

C.S. LEWIS: “Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea, until he has something to forgive.”

Will you be ready to forgive when the time comes?

4In every prayer of mine I always make my entreaty and petition for you all with joy (delight).

5[I thank my God] for your fellowship (your [a]sympathetic cooperation and contributions and partnership) in advancing the good news (the Gospel) from the first day [you heard it] until now.

6And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

7It is right and appropriate for me to have this confidence and feel this way about you all, because [b]you have me in your heart and I hold you in my heart as partakers and sharers, one and all with me, of grace (God's unmerited favor and spiritual blessing). [This is true] both when I am shut up in prison and when I am out in the defense and confirmation of the good news (the Gospel).

8For God is my witness how I long for and [c]pursue you all with love, in the tender mercy of Christ Jesus [Himself]!

IT TAKES FAITH IN CHRIST (V5)

5 I thank God for the help you gave me while I preached the Good News—help you gave from the first day you believed until now.

“…because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus…”v5

  • Paul was continually hearing of Philemon’s faith
    • present tense - continual action
    • Paul had led Philemon to Christ earlier
    • Philemon trusted Jesus to forgive his sin, so he could be reconciled to God
    • Philemon’s ability to forgive came from the forgiveness he received when he placed his faith in Jesus

Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.

We have instructions:

Ephesians 4:32 And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.

  • we will never be asked to forgive more than God has forgiven us!
  • Martin Lloyd Jones - “I say to the glory of God and in utter humility that whenever I see myself before God and realize even something of what my blessed Lord has done for me, I am ready to forgive anybody and anything.”

IT TAKES UNCONDITIONAL LOVE TOWARD OTHER BELIEVERS (V5)

5 because of the way in which you have helped me in the work of the gospel from the very first day until now.

(“…because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints.)

  • GR word - to love by will or by choice, of self sacrifice & humility. Unconditional

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 LOVE IS...

  • patient
    • we must not make impatient demands but allow people to grow at their ow pace
  • kind
    • be gentle & sensitive to the needs of others
  • not jealous
    • a concern for others best, despite my own circumstances
  • does not brag, is not arrogant
    • selflessness, not time for self-exaltation
  • doesn’t act unbecomingly
  • doesn’t seek its own
    • it’s not about me & my feelings. It’s about God and His feelings
  • is not provoked
    • a Christian’s love can most gloriously be displayed in a hostile situation
  • doesn’t take into account a wrong suffered
    • there are not “lists”
  • rejoices with the truth
    • primary concern is being obedient to God’s Word
  • bears and believes all things
    • not limit to our forgiveness, b/c love bears all things.
  • hopes all things
  • endures all things
    • any situation, no matter how long or difficult, a Christian’s love can endure

With this type of “Supernatural” love,

there’s no room for unforgiveness

So Focused on Christ we don’t think...

my rights have been violated

my pride has been tarnished

IT TAKES DEMONSTRABLE FELLOWSHIP (V6)

* capable of being demonstrated, evident, apparent

5for your fellowship in the Gospel from the first day until now,

6 I am sure that the One who began a good work in you will carry it on until it is completed. That will be on the day Christ Jesus returns.

(“…and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake”)

Fellowship - communion, participation, sharing

not just donuts & coffee

  • Paul is referring to the fellowship in Christ
    • fellowship in Holy Spirit
    • fellowship in gospel
    • right hand of fellowship

Gal 2:9 And when they knew (perceived, recognized, understood, and acknowledged) the grace (God's unmerited favor and spiritual blessing) that had been bestowed upon me, James and Cephas (Peter) and John, who were reputed to be pillars of the Jerusalem church, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, with the understanding that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised (Jews).

  • Mutual sharing of life in Christ
    • Doing Life Together (CBC Motto)
  • (become more effective) “Powerful”
  • denying forgiveness is NOT AN OPTION
    • fellowship by definition is the coming together and mutual sharing of Christ likeness
  • Our ability to forgive comes from the Holy Spirit living “inside” TRUE CHRISTIANS!!!!!!
  • Forgivers are powerful examples to an unforgiving world

IT TAKES BRINGING REFRESHMENT TO OTHERS WITH YOUR PRESENCE (V7)

7as it is righteous for me to think this as to you all, because ye have *me* in your hearts, and that both in my bonds and in the defense and confirmation of the glad tidings ye are all participators in my grace.

“For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.”

  • Paul rotting in prison experienced much comfort in Philemon’s love
    • just knowing Philemon was a blessing to others
  • Refreshed
    • to take rest from bodily activity
    • intermission at a play
    • refresh by giving comfort or compensation
  • give to others the feeling you have when your are...
    • relaxing on the beach
    • lounging on the cruise ship
    • neutrally buoyant scuba diving

Matt. 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will [a]ease and relieve and [b]refresh [c]your souls.]

Sunday Morning 4/10/2011

Posted by Sherry

FITNESS 4 THE SPIRIT

1 Timothy 4:7-8

CBC 4/10/11 SM

Exercise equipment & programs available today:

P90X, Anytime Fitness Gym, Weights, Resistance bands, benches, tread mills, cycles, elliptical...

My Dad’s workout program for me...1 double bit axe, 1 sledge hammer, 2 wedges & a pile of wood!

B/C everybody’s trying to make a dollar to get me fit it becomes very complicated when it really isn’t:

  1. Eat a balanced diet to maintain energy
  2. Regularly exercise to build muscular & cardiovascular systems
  3. Get proper rest to recharge yourself

Paul tells Timothy: 7But refuse and avoid irreverent legends (profane and impure and godless fictions, mere grandmothers' tales) and silly myths, and express your disapproval of them. Train yourself toward godliness (piety), [keeping yourself spiritually fit].

8For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come.

IF IT’S GOOD TO BE PHYSICALLY FIT, IT’S ‘BETTER’ TO BE SPIRITUALLY FIT

  • haven’t seen an infomercial on being “Spiritually Fit”
    • prayer’s of steel
    • Bible master
  • did find a site w/ a booklet ($2.99) w/ 18 sp. exercises
    • believe n God
    • believe God forgives u
    • believe God’s Spirit lives n u
    • read & study the Bible
    • believe n & receive God’s love
    • love God
    • Pray & meditate
    • obey God
    • cry out 2 God
    • surrender to God/let go
    • abide n God’s presence
    • have faith & trust n God
    • confess ur sins
    • forgive
    • attend church/worship w/ others
    • B N community w/ others
    • love & serve others
    • think spiritual thots/renew ur mind

3 STEPS TO SPIRITUAL FITNESS

  • FIRST - SPIRITUAL FITNESS REQUIRES THE PROPER SPIRITUAL NUTRITION
    • Matt. 4:4 But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
    • Jesus referred to Himself as the “Bread of Life”
    • Consuming the Bread of Life...
      • believe n Jesus’ completed work
      • initiate a relationship w/ Jesus
      • immersing yourself n the Bible
    • David said, “How sweet R UR words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
    • Those words are better than all the talk shows on tv
    • better than a romance novel
    • better than a Grisham Classic
    • U can surf the internet or the ocean and never find anything better
    • that’s the Word of the Living God
    • When ur down it will lift U up
    • when ur lost it will help U find ur way
    • when ur fearful it will give U courage
    • when ur weak it will give U strength
    • when ur hurting it will give U healing
    • to GROW regularly you must EAT regularly

SECOND - SPIRITUAL FITNESS REQUIRES REGULAR SPIRITUAL EXERCISE

  • Faith is like a muscle
    • must be utilized & exercised in order to grow
  • A SAVING FAITH
    • exercise ur right to ask Jesus to rescue you from the clutches of Satan and the grip of Sin
  • A SUSTAINING FAITH
    • we live by seeing the invisible and believing the impossible
  • A SERVING FAITH
    • don’t think of ur-self more than U ought
    • we have different spiritual gifts
    • use them in proportion to ur faith

THIRD - SPIRITUAL FITNESS REQUIRES SPIRITUAL RENEWAL

  • The valley of dry bones was renewed w/ God’s power
    • these bones can still “live”
    • these bones can still “work”
    • these bones can still “go”

* that’s when we know the He is LORD



Meet the Staff: Rick Duncan

Posted by Sherry

I started serving as Worship Pastor at Central on August 29, 2010. God has allowed me the privilege to serve in the worship ministry for over 30 years. I graduated from Missionary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock in May 1981. Since that time I have served in churches in Star City, AR, Ozark, AR, Daingerfield, TX, Camden, AR, and Jonesboro, AR. My hobbies are watching the Razorbacks, deer hunting, and summer trips to Destin, FL. Vickie and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary in June 2011. We have four children and five grandchildren. We are honored to be serving the Lord with our Central Church family!

Sunday Morning 4/03/2011

Posted by Sherry

TRUTHS ABOUT A TSUNAMI

2 Corinthians 4:8-10

CBC 4/3/11 SM

tsunami slammed Japan’s northeast coast

Japanese - “seismic sea wave”

obliterating towns

26,000 dead or missing

QUOTE: “My older brother, his wife and oldest son are still missing. I wanted to look for something that I could hold on to. I’ve also been asking my friends that survived here for anything they may know.”

HOLDING ON IN A TSUNAMI

8We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair;

9We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted [to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed;

10Always carrying about in the body the liability and exposure to the same putting to death that the Lord Jesus suffered, so that the [[a]resurrection] life of Jesus also may be shown forth by and in our bodies.

TROUBLE NOTHING NEW

  • Even to God’s people
    • Hebrew children-fiery furnace
    • Daniel - den of lions
    • Joseph - cast into prison
    • Paul - shipwrecked, beaten...
    • Peter - sent to prison
    • John - exiled to prison island, Patmos
    • James - had his head cut off
    • David - fled from king Saul
    • Samson - had his eyes poked out

Psalm 34:19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”

Clyde Gordon (paralyzed neck down) -

“Christ is no security against storms,

But He is perfect security in storms.

He does not promise an easy passage,

But He does guarantee a safe landing.”

1 Cor. 10:13 “There hath no temptation (trouble) taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation (trouble) also make a way to escape.”

7 TRUTHS TO “HOLD ON TO” IN A TSUNAMI

  1. TSUNAMIS DIRECT US
  • Sometimes God must exert force to get us moving
    • problems point us in a new direction
    • problems motivate us to change
    • is God trying to get our attention?

Prov. 20:30Physical punishment cleanses away evil;[a]
such discipline purifies the heart.

  • After a serious round with real “T.R.O.U.B.L.E.
    • we don’t care as much about what people think
    • pride is plowed under
    • the world loses it’s value
    • appetites for sin loses their taste

(God could have kept:

Daniel out of the den

Paul & Silas out of jail

Hebrew children out of the furnace

(but look what they would have missed

experiencing the supernatural

knowing God is able

personal testimony that lives on today

  1. TSUNAMIS INSPECT US
  • People are like tea bags...if you want to know what’s inside them, just drop them in hot water
    • God regularly tests our faith w/ problems
    • what do problems reveal about you & me?

James 1:2,3 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

  1. TSUNAMIS CORRECT US
  • Some lessons learned through pain & failure
    • don’t touch a “hot” stove
    • don’t ride motorcycle w/out helmet & leather
    • sometimes we only learn the value of something by “losing it”!

Psalm 119:71 My suffering was good for me,
for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.

  1. TSUNAMIS CONNECT US
  • Ever notice how families gather together when a family member dies?
    • people want to be together during trouble
    • people “rally” around sick people
    • trouble draws people together
    • trouble can also draw people to the Lord
    • people more receptive to the “preacher” in time of trouble

David said, “I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word.”

  1. TSUNAMIS PROTECT US
  • A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents U from being harmed by something more serious
    • ILL: man was fired for not doing something unethical the boss asked him to do. It saved him from going to prison w/ the boss later...

Joseph told his brothers -You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

  1. TSUNAMIS PERFECT US (the perfect storm)
  • Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders
    • God more interested in our character than our comfort!!
    • Our relationship to God & your character are the only 2 things you take into eternity

Paul said, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

    • the graduate degree of spirituality comes from attending the University of Hard Knocks.
  1. TSUNAMIS PROJECT US
  • The wave of trouble focuses us outwardly
    • on what is most important
    • it furthers God’s cause

Paul said, “Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances (prison) have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel,

  • ILL: Eagles know when a storm is approaching
    • they fly high & wait on the wind to come
    • when storm hits they set wings so they are lifted by the wind above the storm
    • while the storm rages below the eagle soars above it
    • eagles do not escape storms, they simply use them to fly higher
    • we can do that......
    • allow God’s power to lift us above the storm
    • it’s not burdens of life that weigh us down... it’s how we handle them!!

Isaiah writes: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

CONCL:

Jesus is calling us to be “water-walkers” not “boat people”

  • God steps in when we’re in trouble:
    • Adam & Eve’s need was met
    • Noah’s problems were solved b/c God cared
    • Joseph was released from prison
    • children of Israel delivered across Red Sea
    • Elijah got help in getting some rain
    • Paul & Silas were freed from jail
    • God’s at work today in Japan...
    • He’s also at work wherever ur going tomorrow