And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sermon Notes:

Here again are the rough outline sermon sotes for today.

Sacrificial Love of a Peculiar People

Luke 10:25-37

 To be peculiar is to be so different that your draw an interest, not weird.  It is living so above the norm that without gimmicks we draw attention to something/ in this case someone greater.  (Remember “the croc hunter”, he was peculiar)

We know this story, The priest, the Levite the Samaritan.  Today I read of a person helping a woman in a fiery crash that had flipped her off in road rage a few moments before. 
·         The woman in the story used todays language for you get what you deserve: Karma.  I wonder if this is what the Levite and the priest thought of the battered man?

Let’s look at what Luke is relating about whet Jesus teaches.  The student (Lawyer), keeps talking in legal terms, that is his language.  It is how he perceives things in his worldview.

Now an inheritance is a gift.  It is what is bequeathed.  A gift is not earned, payment is earned. 
·         But the lawyer asks how he can earn a gift..  This is not possible.
He did not understand salvation, eternal life, as a gift.  (Jesus worldview)
·         He was compartmentalizing the things of life.

We read his response to the law and earning as Heart, Soul, Strength, mind= all of your personhood.

See, the lawyer had law talk; the Savior salvation talk.  Jesus was turning his mind to the right way of thinking. Talk of the Kingdom is to be peculiar. Law will not save you.  But the condition of a heart is to love.  When Jesus uses the Samaritan illustration He is showing how the most irrepressible outcast, the greatest of sinners, can be a part of the kingdom of God.

Jesus once said, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees, which is just what this Samaritan did. (Matt 5:20) We should not think of our lives as measuring up to the law as this lawyer did, but how are we in the image of Christ?

As a peculiar people who love, we do so because of our worldview is actually a Kingdom view.  We are more concerned with the Kingdom of God than of this world here.  This world is for making preparations for the next.

This Samaritan embodies how we are to live, not by law, though we do not throw out the law, we live by love.  This is a Kingdom worldview.  It is peculiar. Learn to love.  Love is not law, it is heart- it is all of the personhood.  It is the ultimate of heart, soul, strength, and mind.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Marks of Religious Growth

Marks of Religious Growth, adapted from J C Ryle

Many of you all know I gain a lot of insight and challenge form a minister in England some one hundred years ago named J C Ryle.  This morning as I was reading I came across this list.  I will spare you the fine details, but want to encourage you nonetheless with this list.  These notes come from his book Holiness.

“We do not question the reality of growth in grace and its vast importance.  You want to know how anyone may find whether he is growing in grace or not?  First observe, we are very poor judges of our own condition, and bystanders know us better than we know ourselves.  But there are certain great marks and signs of growth in grace.

Humility- The man whose soul is growing feels his own sinfulness and unworthiness more every year.  The nearer he draws to God, and the more he sees of God’s holiness and perfections, the more thoroughly is he sensible of his own countless imperfections.

Increase in faith and love towards our Lord Jesus Christ.

Increase in holiness of life and conversation. The man whose soul is growing gets more dominion over sin, the world, and the devil every year.  He becomes more careful about his temper, his words, and actions.  He is more watchful over his conduct in every relation of life.

Increased spirituality of taste and mind. He takes more interest in spiritual things every year.

Increase in Charity.  His love will show itself actively in a growing disposition to do kindnesses, to take trouble for others, to be good natured to everybody, to be generous, sympathizing, thoughtful, tender hearted, and considerate.

Increased zeal and diligence for trying to do good to souls.  The man who is really growing will take greater interest in the salvation of sinners every year.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sermon Notes

Readers of the blog,  From time to time I refer our church to the blog for rough notes on the sermon from SUnday.  These notes are in that veign.  They provide enough of an outline for going back over the message for personal study like one of the Berean brethern.  These outlines cover the past two Sundays where we have been coving Fighting the Good Fight of Faith, and Having Fought the Good Fight of Faith. The audio of these sermons can be found at

Fighting the Good Fight of Faith
1 Timothy 6:11-20 (6:3-20)
Sunday Feb 26, 2012

Before entering Battle, count the cost.
What are the cost and enemies we will face???
·         1 Corinthians 10:12-14, James 1:13-15
Old Nature and Habits
·         Colossians 3:10-14, 2 Corinthians 5:17
Opposition general to life
·         1 Peter 2:12, James 1:12
Peer pressure and persuasion
·         John 15:20
·         Matthew 5:11
Lack of Wisdom
·         James 1:2-8
Lack of Knowledge
·         Romans 11:33, Colossians 1:10, 2 Peter 2:1
Lack of Armor
·         Ephesians 6:10-20
Lack of faith
·         Matthew 17:20, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 11

Notice the words
            (11) Flee and pursue
            (12)Take Hold
            (13)“I charge you…”
            (16) To Him be honor

How Do We Prepare to Die?
2 Timothy 4:1-11

Last week 1 Timothy 6:11-20
What are the costs to count and the enemies we face.
Temptation, Old Nature and Habits, Opposition general to life, Peer pressure and persuasion, Persecution, Lack of Wisdom, Lack of Knowledge, Lack of Armor, Lack of faith

He gave 4 phrases that mattered in his fight of faith.
Flee and pursue (11)
Take hold (12)
I charge you (13)
To Him be honor (16)
These are basic to fighting the good fight of faith.  To daily denying self, taking up the cross, and following Him.

What is faith:  The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

It is a living by confident passionate expectation that the word of God is true and is demonstrated therefore in thoughts, beliefs, nature, actions, and words.

 Today we look at a life that did just what we see.  He practiced what he preached.
           He speaks on a loving way to Timothy, encouraging him to carry on the fight, for it is a worthy pursuit.
           He does not hind the troubles ahead.
           The basis of his faith is found in a previous verse, 2 Timothy 3:16-17

To men here Paul and Demas

Paul                                                                Demas

Walked with God                                          Walked too

Participated in many activities                   Participated in many activities

Wrote letters                                                  Was with Paul in letters

Started churches                                         Started churches

Was in prison                                               Was in prison

Loved the Kingdom                                     Loved the world

Stayed the course                                        Departed

 Demas deserted, but Mark found favor again.  IF you are hearing this, come back to the faith.

           Fought the good fight of faith
           Finished the race
           Kept the faith.