The Lord’s Prayer

This Sunday we will not be saying the Lord’s Prayer during the service. I strongly believe the Lord’s prayer is a pattern, an order, for prayer. I have preached on this. The sermon is below:

Introduction:

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take.” That may be the prayer that you learned when you were a child. When I was in preschool I learned: “God is great, God is good, God we thank you for this food, Amen.” We might have learned these prayers because we grew up in homes, or had extended family to teach us to pray. Others may not have had that privilege:

In the passage that we are going to look at Jesus teaches the disciples to pray.

Jesus teaches the disciples a meaningful order for prayer.

Turn in your Bibles to Matthew 6:9-13 and read this passage with me.

Read passage:

This passage is also found in Luke 11.

In Luke 11:1 it says that Jesus was praying in a certain place and then the disciples asked Him to teach them to pray.

Actions speak louder than words. The disciples saw Jesus’ actions. They saw Jesus praying often and they saw the miracles that He did. In Luke 9:28ff they saw the transformation. In Luke 9:12ff they saw Jesus feed 5000. In Luke 8:40ff and 49-56 they saw Jesus heal Jairus’ daughter. In Luke 8:43ff they saw Jesus heal a woman with an issue of blood simply because she touched His garment. In Luke 8:22ff they saw Jesus still the sea. In Luke 4:31ff they saw, or heard about, Jesus casting out demons in Capernaum.  They had also seen Jesus praying a lot: in Mark 1:35 after Jesus had healed many people He retreated to a secluded place to pray. The disciples likely connected prayer with the miracles. So, they ask Jesus to teach them to pray.

  • The question is: in the context of Jesus’ life, is the passage in Luke the same as the passage in Matthew? That is possible. It is also possible that Jesus taught this more than one time. This was important to Jesus.

Now let’s look at the passage

  • Notice in verse 9 that Jesus says, “Pray then in this way.” This is important. Jesus didn’t say pray these words. No, Jesus was giving a pattern, an order for our prayers.
    • In order for us to grasp the significance of this we must look at the verses preceding this passage.
    • Jesus started teaching about prayer in verse 5. Notice in verse 7 Jesus said do not use “’meaningless’ repetition as the gentiles do.” The key word is “meaningless.”
      • There is nothing wrong with reciting this prayer occasionally in corporate worship, but we must be very careful of meaningless repetition. That is exactly what Jesus was going against He taught them this order for prayer.
      • Greek prayers piled up as many titles of the deity addressed as possible, hoping to secure his or her attention. Pagan prayers typically reminded the deity of favors done or sacrifices offered, attempting to get a response from the god on contractual grounds.[1]
      • Jesus doesn’t condemn long prayers but wants meaningful verbiage.[2]
      • What I want you to know is that Jesus taught the disciples a meaningful order for prayer.
  • Jesus teaches His disciples to start prayer with worship.
    • Prayer is meaningful when we start prayer with worship.
    • In the Greek “be Holy” is the same word. This is a verb and it is in the imperative mood. Or, some say it is the optative mood.
      • The optative mood is rare in the New Testament which expresses “a wish.”
      • The mood that normally expresses a command, intention, exhortation, or polite request. The imperative mood is therefore not an expression of reality but possibility and volition
      • When we are praying as Jesus taught us to pray we are not simply saying “Lord, Your name is Holy.” We are saying, “Let Your name be holy.” There is a simple difference. The difference is that we are asking God’s name to be revered as holy. The name of the Lord is who He is. This is a polite request, or a wish. We are asking God’s name to be set apart, sanctified, sacred. This is worship as we are ascribing to God what He is. He is holy.
      • In verse 10 we continue in worship. We are praying for God’s Kingdom to come. In verse 10 I see the focus on God. I notice a repeated personal pronoun “you,” or “your” in the English.  Do we realize what we are saying when we use this prayer. This is a powerful line. God’s Kingdom= submission.
        • “Your Kingdom come.”
        • “Your will be done.” (second person)
        • this means that our prayers must not be about us but about God. The only part about us is:
          • Forgiveness
          • Daily bread
          • Delivery from evil
          • Lead us not into temptation
          • but the prayer starts with worship by giving God credit for who He is and the prayer starts with asking that His will be done.
      • In this prayer we are praying for the God’s Kingdom to come about. This is a strong prayer. We are praying for His Reign.
      • This means that we must submit to His rule!
      • am I ready for the Kingdom to come? Do I mean this request?
      • God reigns in Heaven, we are asking God’s reign and will to come about on earth (Heb 1:3; 8:1; 1Peter 3:22).
      • So, meaningful prayer starts with worship. Meaningful prayer ascribes to God the attributes that He has and we request that He maintains His holiness. Meaningful prayer asks for the Lord’s will not my own. Meaningful prayer asks for His kingdom to come about. Meaningful prayer implies submission to His will and kingdom.
  • Verse 11 shows us the second category of meaningful prayer. Meaningful prayer includes requests for our daily needs. Give us this day our daily bread.
    • Richard Foster who wrote Celebration of Disciplines which we are studying in Christian Discipleship Training, says that this shows that we are allowed to make personal request in our prayers. If we need a babysitter today, pray for that. If we need help shoveling snow, pray for that. But we pray for what we need, not what we want.
      • We may have many needs. We could also request for other people’s needs.

A mentor of mine was laid off from work back in the 1970’s. One Sunday they were on their way to church and it was their day to tithe. His wife asked him if they should tithe their last few dollars. He (Dave) said, “yes, that is the Lord’s money.” They went to church and gave that money in the offering plate. They didn’t tell anyone about their needs. The next day was their daughter’s birthday. That night the wife, Sharon, made a list of what they could use to make a birthday cake. The next day all of the items on the list were at their front door.

  • It is good to ask for our daily needs. God could have dropped those items from Heaven, or He might have led someone to drop them off during the night. God answers prayer.
  • Phil 4:6-9 says to pray with petition and thanksgiving.
  • 4543 Prayer Meeting of 53 Hours
  • Five men were entrapped in a deserted zinc mine in Salem, Kentucky, by falling rocks. They had nothing to eat. They were in utter darkness. One of the men could have saved himself had he not run back to warn the others.
  • When the entombed men discovered that they could not escape, they began to pray and sing. Their prayer and praise service lasted for fifty-three hours! Then they were rescued. Later one of the men testified, “We lay there from Friday morning till Sunday morning. We prayed “without ceasing.” When the rescuers reached us, we were still praying!”
  • When the men were brought up out of the mine, on the caps of each one were scrawled these words: “If we are dead when you find us, we are all saved!”
  • —Walter B. Knight
  • [3]
    • This may also be able to be translated: “give us this day our bread for tomorrow.” According to Dr. Stamps, a professor of worship Theology, this had the idea of a servant during the New Testament times receiving bread for the following day from the master. The master would leave this under his bed early in the morning. This was not discovered until the 19th century.
    • So, meaningful prayer includes the request for needs.
  • Verse 12 shows us that a meaningful order of prayer includes a request for forgiveness. Notice that this request implies that we have forgiven others. Richard Foster says that we always must give in order to be able to receive. He says, “It is simply that by the very nature of the created order we must give in order to receive. I cannot, for instance, receive love if I do not give love. People may try to offer me love, but if resentment and vindictiveness fill my heart, their offers will roll off me like water off a duck’s back. If my fists are clenched and my arms folded tightly around myself, I cannot hold anything.”[4]
    • So, we forgive others and we receive God’s forgiveness.
  • In verse 13 Jesus shows that a meaningful order for prayer includes a request not to be lead into temptation and deliverance from evil.
    •  God does not tempt (James 1:13).
    • But god will test us. Richard Foster says this in praying this we are saying: “Lord, may there be nothing in me that will force you to put me to the test in order to reveal what is in my heart.”[5] The Lord can also intervene so that satan doesn’t tempt us.
    • Deliver us from evil is deliverance from the devil.

So, that is it. That is a meaningful pattern of prayer as opposed to the meaningless repetitions that the others were praying.

  • We must start prayer with worship
  • We must move on to request for our needs
  • We must then request forgiveness
  • We then request deliverance from evil and that the Lord keeps us from the test or temptation.

In 1Cor 13 the Apostle Paul was writing and he said, “When I was a child I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. This meaningful order of prayer calls us to put away childish repetitions, such as: Now I lay me down to sleep, we now pray to God in a meaningful order.

 

This meaningful order of prayer  implies that prayer is very important. Remember, Jesus taught the disciples to pray and Jesus modeled a prayer life.

“Stonewall Jackson,” says E. M. Bounds in Purpose in Prayer, “was a man of prayer.” Said he, “I have so fixed the habit of prayer in my mind that I never raise a glass of water to my lips without asking God’s blessing, never seal a letter without putting a word of prayer under the seal, never take a letter from the post without a brief sending of my thoughts heavenward, never change my classes in the lecture-room without a minute’s petition for the cadets who go out and for those who come in.”

—Aquilla Webb

[6]

 

 


[1]Keener, C. S., & InterVarsity Press. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary : New Testament (Mt 6:7). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.

[2] ver•biage \ˈvər-bē-ij also -bij\ noun

[French, from Middle French verbier to chatter, from verbe speech, from Latin verbum word]

(circa 1721)

1 : a profusion of words usually of little or obscure content 〈such a tangled maze of evasive verbiage as a typical party platform —Marcia Davenport〉

2 : manner of expressing oneself in words : diction 〈sportswriters guarded their verbiage so jealously —Raymond Sokolov〉
Merriam-Webster, I. (1996, c1993). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (10th ed.). Springfield, Mass., U.S.A.: Merriam-Webster.

[3]Tan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers. Garland TX: Bible Communications.

[4] Richard Foster’s book on Prayer page 186-187

[5] Richard Foster on prayer page 189

[6]Tan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers. Garland TX: Bible Communications.

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The Grace and Truth Paradox chapter 2

I hope you have read something of Alcorn’s The Grace and Truth Paradox. Here are some quotes that stood out to me in chapter 2.

  • “Our churches try to make sinners comfortable. How? They never talk about sin. Never offend anyone. They replace truth with tolerance, lowering the bar so everyone can jump over it and we can all feel good about ourselves.” (page 20)

I find that quote interestingly true. If you are replying, what do you think about that? Do you agree or disagree? What is wrong with this, if it is true?

Alcorn also writes:

  • Something’s wrong if all unbelievers hate us.
  • Something’s wrong if all unbelievers love us.
  • John 15:20: they persecuted Jesus. (page 20)
  • When we offend everybody, it’s because we’ve taken on the truth mantle without grace. When we offend nobody, it’s because we’ve watered down the truth in the name of grace. (page 20)

The church Alcorn pastored was picketed for their stance on abortion, so the church served donuts to the picketers. This is grace and truth. They stood on truth but gave gifts. (page 24)

“On the morning we were picketed, some street preachers with signs shouting hell and damnation showed up to take on the abortion activists. Their message contained truth, but their approach lacked grace. One of the street preachers barged between my daughter and me and a few of the Lesbian Avengers just as we finally had an opportunity to talk with them. The door of witnessing was slammed in our faces…by Christian brothers. We tried to reason with the street preachers, After all, this was our church, and we didn’t want them screaming at our ‘guests’—even if they were screaming the truth. Most cooperated, but a few decided we were waffling on truth and it was an abomination for us to offer doughnuts to people who needed to be rebuked.

  • The following Sunday two street preachers picketed our church, scolding us for our “pathetic” attempts at doughnuts and coffee evangelism.
  • So after twenty-one unpicketed years, our church was picketed two weeks in a row.” (page 25)

Do you agree that this is an example of “grace and truth”? Please post comments.

 

books, movies, etc and worldview

A Facebook questions was asked:

A question for “Ask the Pastor”
Do you think that the books we read, the music we listen to, the movies we watch, and the people we hang with can influence our lives in negative ways, even if we think they are just creative outlets?

short answer first:

1 Thess 5:21 states:

21 but test them all; hold on to what is good,

In that passage Paul is writing about prophesies and telling the people to test the prophesies. There certainly must be a place for creative outlets. But every writer and movie producer certainly has their own worldview and that worldview does come through in their writings and movies. I have thought if God is too pure to look upon sin and sin is against God, should I be entertained by sin? I know that I am guilty as I have been entertained by the Office and Big Bang Theory. I have been entertained by violent shows such as 24 (a new favorite), and movies like Braveheart. Certainly friendship of the world is enmity with God (James 4:4). In Romans 12:1-2 and Paul exhorts us not to be conformed to the pattern of this world. In John 17 Jesus says that we are in the world but not of the world.

So, I think there is a line which is different for all where something is corrupting them and wrong to watch or listen to. However, some things are so filthy that no one should take part in them. Ephesians 6:12 states: “It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.” Examples may be pornography. On another note there are shows like the Simpsons that may be humorous but show extreme disrespect for parents. This violates the Ten Commandments (Ex 20), kids watch this and copy it.

Below I am posting a sermon I preached on the Challenge of the Media. It has several quotes about the media’s effect on people. I also can allow anyone to barrow a DVD message by Dr. Bill Brown, President of Cedarville University, he speaks a lot about worldview.

Introduction:

The media world affects us all in many ways.  media greatly affects our kids. But I think that media effects us all in mnay ways. Actually, I think it creeps up on us and we don’t even notice it. But how does the media effect us? Is the media all bad? What is the media?

When I say media I am talking about television, movies, video games, cell phones, music, and anything else that is used for entertainment. I would like to say that the media is not all bad. The media is not even half bad. The media is not bad at all. However, there is something that is bad and that is the abuse of the media.

The media causes us to think or dwell on things. They know that we do and we know that. If it wouldn’t cause us to think or dwell on things there would be no point in watching television. There would be no point in listening to music, or playing video games. If it didn’t work there would be no point in advertising. Think about it, a comedy is to bring humor. It takes our minds off of day to day living and makes us feel good.

Now let’s look at what the Bible says about the media. Let’s look at Philippians 4:8

8     Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.[1]

  1. When gauging whether media intake is right or wrong we know we should think on:
    1. Whatever is true:
      1.                                                               i.      I don’t think that this means that it is wrong to be entertained by a story that is fiction. But I don’t think we shouldn’t be entertained by gossip. This more applies to the news and magazines and such. I think we must also be careful about being entertained by something that gives is a false idea of the spiritual world.
    2. Example: “Sociologist s conducted a survey of 104 of Hollywood’s elite, asking the most influential writers and producers a number of idealogical questions. The findings showed:
      1. 93 percent seldom or never go to worship services;
      2. 97 percent believe in a woman’s right to abort;
      3. 16 percent agree that adultery is wrong;
      4. 99 percent believe that television should be ‘more critical’ of Judeo-Christian values” Luce, Ron. Battle Cry For a Generation. Cook Communication Ministries, Colorado Springs, CO. 2005. Page 38
      5.                                                             ii.      That will come out in the media we take in. We must be careful of it.
    3. We must think on whatever is honorable: This means we should think on that that is dignified, that that is worthy of respect. Apply this to today
      1.                                                               i.      Is the extreme sexual content in the movies and video games worthy of respect?
      2.                                                             ii.      Even back in the 60’s John Wayne was against nudity and sex in movies. John Wayne said, “No one in any of my pictures will ever be served drinks by a girl with no top to her dress.”
    4. We must think on whatever is right. This means that it is right with God’ standards.
      1.                                                               i.      Why should we be entertained by sin?
      2.                                                             ii.      God saved us from that sin. Christ dies for that sin.
        1. What about extreme violence: “In November 2002, an Ohio girl was beaten to death by a 15 year old boy with one of the posts from the victim’s bed. (investigators later discovered that the boy’s favorite way to kill in the video game Grand Theft Auto was to use a baseball bat.) The boy then stole her car, as players do in the game. Witnesses say the murderer played the game for hours, turning into a ‘zombie’ when he played.” Luce, Ron. Battle Cry For a Generation. Cook Communication Ministries, Colorado Springs, CO. 2005. Page 49
        2. “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Rated M for mature: Intense violence or language; may include mature sexual themes. Players become gangsters, getting their kicks by stealing cars. They can relieve the tension of killing other players’ characters by hiring prostitutes to have sex with them in their cars. The sex is off screen, but conveyed by ecstatic moaning, the car’s rocking, and the vibration of the game pad.” Luce, Ron. Battle Cry For a Generation. Cook Communication Ministries, Colorado Springs, CO. 2005. Page 41
        3. A 1984 evaluation of the increase in rape rates in various countries bears close correlation to the liberalizing of restrictions on pornography.
        4. There is a connection between how we are entertained and what we do.
    5. We must think on things that are pure. Pure means without sin.
    6. We must think on things that are lovely. This means things that promote peace rather than conflict.
    7. We must think on whatever is of good repute. If anything is excellent or praiseworthy.
  2. What do we do if nothing meets these qualifications?
    1. There are many Christians with children who don’t own a television
      1. Look at Romans 12:1-2: Rom 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.
    2. We as Christians are not only watching things that include sin we are being conformed to the world. Christ saved us from the world.
    3. Do you ever wonder why you think bad thoughts? Do you ever wonder why you say bad things? Do you wonder why you cannot hear from God? There is no such thing as instant godliness. We will think, say, and do things that are not right if that is what we are meditating on. We will not hear from God if we are too distracted by the world.
  3. There is also a problem with too much media
    1. “Young people average 16 to 17 hours per week watching television. If we add video games and video movie, we find that teenagers spend as many as 35-55 hours a week in front of a screen.” Luce, Ron. Battle Cry For a Generation. Cook Communication Ministries, Colorado Springs, CO. 2005. Page 45

 

Closing:

Media is here to help us with life. It is not here to take our lives away. But that is what is happening. We as a country are going to have grave consequences if we don’t put a limit on our media intake. We are going to have grave consequences if we don’t put a limit on our children’s media intake. In 2Cor 10:5 Paul says that he holds every thought captive. In 1Thess 5:21 Paul says to test everything. Everything is sending us a message. We must test them. In the youth ministry we will be studying the effects of the media over the next 4 weeks. As you enter this new year, I want to challenge you whether you may need to change the quality and or the amount of media that you intake.


aRom 14:18; 1 Pet 2:12

1Or lovable and gracious

2Lit ponder these things

[1]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Php 4:7). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

 

Matthew 28:19-20 sermon: “As you go, make disciples.”

This month’s memory verse has been Matthew 28:19-20. Below, I have posted a sermon which I preached on this passage. I preached it has part of a student ministries service on June 29, 2008. This was following a mission trip to Harlan, Kentucky through Adventures in Missions (A.I.M.). Harlan, KY is part of Appalachia. Below is the sermon. Feel free to post questions or comments:

Outline:

Intro:

The youth group just got back from Appalachia as you know by now and we had a lot of awesome, God given experiences. You have heard about a lot of them by now. One thing that I really liked about this trip is the focus on discipleship. The group that we went on this mission trip with was called AIM and that stands for Adventures in Missions. AIM requires every group that goes on one of their mission trips to go through what they call Missions101. Missions 101 is 7 weeks of missions training. In that training we read a lot of Scripture, we spend time in prayer, we spend time in listening prayer which is prayer where we actually spend quiet time waiting for God to respond, we study the area we are going to, we talk about dress codes and packing list, but during the first week we talk about why we go on a mission trip. That is what I want to talk about now. Why? Who cares? Why do missions? Turn in your Bibles to Mathew 28:18-20 and we will also reference Acts 1:8.

Let’s read Mathew 28:18-20

  1. First , Jesus tells them all authority on Heaven and on earth has been given to Him.
    1. Jesus didn’t say some authority He said all authority
    2. One of the cool things about Scripture is that Scripture backs itself up, Scripture supports itself. In Mathew 11:27 Jesus says that all authority has been handed over to me. In Daniel 7:13, Daniel has an end times vision of Jesus coming. In Mathew 26:64 Jesus says, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless, I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of Heaven.” A quote from Psalm 110:1 and Dan 7:13. But my favorite verse that supports Jesus’ power is Col 1:15-17: “He is the Image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth , visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created both through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together…”
      1.                                                                i.      The stars you see at night, they were created by Jesus and for Jesus
      2.                                                              ii.      The planets at the outer depths of space were created by Jesus and for Jesus
      3.                                                             iii.      The vast oceans on this earth were created by Jesus and for Jesus
      4.                                                            iv.      The clouds up in the sky were created by Jesus and for Jesus
      5.                                                              v.      The materials to create your house, computer, tv, all created by Jesus and for Jesus
      6.                                                            vi.      The rulers of the world were set in place by Jesus and for Jesus
        1. All of this is held together for His purpose
    3. But why did Jesus tell them this now? I actually think that they need that encouragement considering the mission He was about to give them and us. Let’s look at the mission—-
  2. In verse 19 Jesus says, “As you go make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
    1. Did you notice that I said, “As you go…” but in our Bibles it really says, “Go, therefore..”  look one of the cool things that I learned recently is that if you look at the Greek tense of this passage it tells us that “go” is not a command but a present participle. The only command in this passage is to make disciples. That means that this passage might be better translated “as you go…” Let’s apply this a little:
      1.                                                                i.      On Thursday night we drove home from our trip. I got home late at night and started thinking, “It is amazing that we can pass from one culture to another in that amount of time.”  I am all for foreign missions, I am all for traveling four hours a way for a mission trip. But you know, we can pass from culture to culture in Cincinnati alone. The problem with foreign mission trips is that it makes us think that missions is away not at home.
      2.                                                              ii.      In this passage Jesus is saying, “as you go about your business make disciples” This is a natural part of a Christian’s life. We must be so incredibly excited that we are making disciples everywhere we go.
        1. As you go to your job at McDonalds, make disciples
        2. As you go to the factory, make disciples
        3. As you teach students, make disciples
        4. As you cut hair, make disciples
        5. As you make friends, make disciples
        6. As you go out to eat make disciples
        7. As you go to the grocery, make disciples
        8. As you go to Lowe’s make disciples
        9. As you go___________, make disciples
      3.                                                             iii.       This is backed up by other Scriptures.  Jesus said in the sermon on the mount, “You are the light of the world” Look there is a light that shine through Jesus who is in us and we cannot hide our light and too many of us are.
      4.                                                            iv.      Now, making disciples implies evangelism; however, that doesn’t mean that we are walking up to someone saying, “If you were to die tonight would you go to Heaven or hell.” If you want to, go ahead, make sure you know what you are talking about. There are other types of evangelism:
        1. Servant evangelism: help people. As you go to the grocery, open doors for people
        2. Social evangelism: as you out to eat be nice to the waiter or waitress. You know that people who work at restaurants hate working on Sundays. I wonder why, could it be that all the Christians, correction alleged Christians come after church and demand a lot and tip a little. Have grace.
          1. This is also just talking to people, representing Christ well. Build the relationship and then you have their trust when you tell them about Christ
        3.  Invitational evangelism: invite them to church
      5.                                                              v.      Jesus modeled this “as you go” mentality. When everyone else avoided Samaria, Jesus went through and talked with the woman at the well.
    2. There is spiritual depravity and physical depravity. Our area has both:
      1.                                                                i.      The city of Harlan has an average income of 17,270. The is national: 41,994
      2.                                                              ii.      Lincoln Heights:19,834
      3.                                                             iii.      hamilton 35,365 Population 60,763
      4.                                                            iv.      Lockland: 28,292 Population: 3505
      5.                                                              v.      Cincinnati: 29,493 Population: 317, 361
      6.                                                            vi.      Dayton: 27,423 Population: 161,996
        1. Lincoln height is one of the poorest areas of Cincinnati, what can we do to help them? Hartwell is another place right next to us, what can we as Christians do to help them in physical ways and hopefully Spiritual ways? We have Jesus and ultimately that is what they need; however, they may not care how much we can tell them about Jesus until they know that we care.
        2. I am serious about this, I believe that we as a church have got to purposefully make these suburbs around the church our mission fields. As you go to church drive through Lockland and Lincoln Heights and pray for them. Brain storm things that we can do to help them.
      7.                                                           vii.      In Acts 1:8: Jesus told them to be witnesses in Jerusalem which is local, in Judea which is a little further and a bigger area, in Samaria, which is further away and then to the ends of the earth. Missions starts at home.
        1. Also, Jesus is talking to Jewish people and He tells them all the nations can have this Gospel: Greeks, Barbarians, etc. This is a phenomenal statement.
    3. Once they know Christ we make them disciples, they come along side us and learn how to be a follower of Jesus. They get baptized in the Trinitarian name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Next let’s look at verse 20:
  3. Teach them to observe all that I commanded you and I will be with you
    1. Notice that Jesus says, “ALL” that I commanded you. Not some of what I commanded.
      1.                                                                i.      Love your neighbor as yourself
      2.                                                              ii.      Seek first the Kingdom of God
      3.                                                             iii.      Store up treasures in Heaven, not on earth
      4.                                                            iv.      Love your enemies
      5.                                                              v.      So much more
    2. Jesus is with us to the end
      1.                                                                i.      You are not alone. You have trouble telling people about Jesus, don’t worry learn the Bible, study what you will say and take comfort Christ is with you.
      2.                                                              ii.      This must have been encouraging to them since most of them would die in persecution
      3.                                                             iii.      In Acts 18:10 Paul is a little worried about witnessing in Corinth and he has a vision and it is Christ saying, “I am with you..”

Close:

On our mission trip we did a lot of new things, especially for the kids. All of those things can and should be done around here.

  1. Prayer walking: let’s do it we can do that around here
  2. Adult day care: we can go and build relationship with people at an adult day care around here
  3. Construction
  4. Sports evangelism: this is simply going to a park and playing games with people. The idea is to show them that Christians have fun and we care and if possible or if God leads you to share the Gospel

We must make this area our mission field.

Matt 9:36-38

36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

This is also true here.

Let’s pray

follow up on holiness

Hi all, 

I found a story about holiness, and God’s work in us, which I thought I would add to yesterday’s sermon. It is below:

The Teacup Story

May we all see ourselves and God’s creative mastery in the story of the teacup.  

There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores. They both liked antiques and pottery and especially teacups. This was their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

One day in this beautiful shop they saw a beautiful cup.They said, “May we see that? We’ve never seen one quite so beautiful.”

As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the cup spoke.”You don’t understand,” it said. “I haven’t always been a teacup.There was a time when I was red and I was clay. My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over andI yelled out, ‘let me alone,’ but he only smiled, ‘Not yet.’

“Then I was placed on a spinning wheel,” the cup said,”and suddenly I was spun around and around and around.Stop it! I’m getting dizzy! I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, ‘Not yet.’

“Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat!” the teacup said. “I wondered why he wanted to burn me, and I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as He shook his head, ‘Not yet.’

“Finally the door opened, he put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. ‘There, that’s better,’ I said. And he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag.’Stop it, stop it!’ I cried. He only nodded, ‘Not yet.’

“Then suddenly he put me back into the oven, not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I knew I would suffocate.I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him through the opening, nodding his head saying, ‘Not yet.’

“Then I knew there wasn’t any hope. I would never make it. I was ready to give up. But the door opened and he took me out and placed me on the shelf.

One hour later he handed me a mirror and said, ‘Look at yourself.’ And I did. I said, ‘That’s not me; that couldn’t be me. It’s beautiful. I’m beautiful.’

“‘I want you to remember, then,’ he said, ‘I know it hurts to be rolled and patted, but if I had left you alone, you’d have dried up.

I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel,but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled.

I knew it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in the oven,but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked.

I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened;you would not have had any color in your life.

And if I hadn’t put you back in that second oven, you wouldn’t survive for very long because the hardness would not have held.

Now you are a finished product.You are what I had in mind when I first began with you.'”

~ Author Unknown


The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord saying, “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I shall announce My words to you.”Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel.But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make. Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.” Jeremiah 18:1-6 (NASB)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Moral:

God knows what He’s doing (for all of us).
He is the Potter, and we are His clay.
He will mold us and make us,
so that we may be made into a flawless piece of work
to fulfill His good, pleasing, and perfect will.
Like the teacup, let us willingly yield to the Potter’s hand.

http://www.creativebiblestudy.com/teacup.html

The Grace and Truth Paradox chapter one

Hi all,

I have written about this book, “The Grace and Truth Paradox” by Randy Alcorn, today I wanted to write about chapter one. If you read chapter one you can comment at the bottom of the page. Chapter one is on pages 9-18 so it isn’t too long, but it is full of good information. In this chapter Alcorn introduces this idea of “grace and truth” right out of John 1:14. Some things that I really loved in this chapter are below:
• 1st century Jewish culture knew truth better than grace. (page 14)
• Ex 34:6: God passed in front of Moses and identified Himself as “abounding in love and faithfulness,” Hebrew equivalents of grace and truth (page 15)
• Grace is a delightful, fragrant word. (page 15)
o It intriques (page 15)
o Attracts (page 15)
o Compels (page 15)
o Dazzles (page 15)
o It also confounds. It’s as though God said, “You know about truth. It’s taught in the synagogues every Sabbath. But let me tell you about grace…” (page 15)
• Some churches today embrace truth, but need a heavy dose of grace. (page 15)
• Other churches talk about grace but cry out for a heavy dose of truth. (page 15)
• “Birds need to wings to fly. With only one wing, they’re grounded. The gospel flies with the wings of grace and truth. Not one, but both.” (page 16)
• The two are interdependent. We should never approach truth except in a spirit of grace, or grace except in a spirit of truth.
o Jesus wasn’t 50% grace, 50% truth, but 100% grace, 100% truth (page 16)
• Grace-oriented Christians love forgiveness and freedom . But sometimes they neglect Bible study and see moral standards as “legalism.” (page 17) Truth-oriented Christians love studying Scripture and theology. But sometimes they’re quick to judge and slow to forgive. (page 17)

Those are some things that really stood out to me as I reread this chapter. What do you think about these exerts? If you are reading this book, what do you think so far? Do you find that you naturally lean towards grace or truth?
Have a blessed week— Steve