Istrouma Baptist Church Podcast

There are a lot of things that can trouble our hearts.  A list was recently published that catalogs the types of things that tend to trouble our hearts—that cause us to worry.  Here is a partial list:


  1. Health and weight.
  2. Marriage.
  3. Parenting and children/grandchildren.
  4. Lack of savings and an uncertain financial future.  And the number one worry is:
  5. Getting old!


We spend a lot of time worrying and fretting.  Statistics indicate that the average person spends over 14 hours per week worrying.  That would total over 700 hours worrying a year.  That would be the equivalent of close to 30 days a year!  If you lived to be 80, you would have worried away over 6years of your life!


The good news is that you do not need to worry.  Your heart does not need to be troubled.  Today I want to share with you “truths for troubled hearts” that will encourage and help you.


Let’s open our Bibles to John 14:1-6.


The Final Word

“Truths for Troubled Hearts”

John 14:1-6


  1. Jesus promises a peace
    1. By forbidding fear
    2. By fostering faith
  2. Jesus prepares a place
    1. He will return for His own
    2. He will reunite with His own
  3. Jesus provides a path
    1. That is effective
    2. That is exclusive
Direct download: IBC_20180121.mp3
Category:The Final Word -- posted at: 1:28pm EST

How can you identify a Christian?  What is the chief characteristic of the Christian?


A cross necklace has been used by many across the years to identify as a Christian; however, as you know, for many it has little to no significance whatsoever.   It certainly doesn’t make one a Christian.


More recently there’s been a trend in Christian tattoos.  Many devout young believers have inked themselves to say, as permanently as they know how, I am a follower of Jesus.


A less painful and permanent way that some people use is a bumper sticker.  But be careful with that!  I heard about a lady who was impatiently driving down a busy street.  She became infuriated when the car in front of her slowed to a stop at a yellow light instead of speeding through.  This, of course, delayed her. Furious at being delayed, she sounded her horn and began waving her fists in a disgraceful exhibition of a road rage.  Before she could move off, she felt a tap on her window. It was a police officer who ordered her to step out of the car. He then asked her to come down to the station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and put in a cell.


A couple of hours later, after vehicle checks had been carried out, she was told that she could collect her valuables and that she was being released without charge.


The woman was extremely indignant at her arrest and demanded an apology.


The officer responsible explained the reason for the mistake. "You see, ma’am, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn and loudly cursing the driver in front of you. Then I noticed the ‘Honk if you love Jesus’ bumper sticker, the Christian fish emblem on the trunk, and the ‘Choose Life’ license plate.  Naturally, I assumed that you had stolen the car."




While cross necklaces, tattoos, and bumper stickers all may have their place, none of these is the fool-proof evidence of a true Christian.  What is that distinguishing trait?  Jesus tells us in our passage today.


The Final Word

“The Chief Characteristic of the Christian”

John 13:34-35


  1. Command to love one another
    1. The substance of the command
    2. The scope of the command
  2. Comparison of loving one another
    1. An unending love
    2. An unmerited love
  3. Consequence of loving one another
    1. Reflects on Christians
    2. Reflects on Christ
Direct download: IBC_20180114.mp3
Category:The Final Word -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

A 2014 study by Harvard University listed the happiest cities in America.  The results surprised many and were broadcast widely.  The five happiest cities in America were all in the same state—Louisiana!  These cities included our own Baton Rouge along with Lafayette, Houma, Shreveport-Bossier City, and Alexandria.


In 2017 National Geographic produced a new list.  There was not one Louisiana city in the top 25!  Boulder, Colorado topped the list.  I was curious as to why there was this radical change in the rankings.  After a little bit of digging, I discovered the reason.  They changed the criteria for how happiness is measured! 


In the 2014 survey, researchers asked the people the following question: “In general, how satisfied are you with your life?”  Responders could choose from the following answers: very satisfied, satisfied, dissatisfied, and very dissatisfied.  Louisiana folk were more satisfied than most with their lives.


In the 2017 the researchers did not ask people to self-assess.  Instead, the researchers themselves determined the kinds of things that they believe make people happy—things like eating healthy, exercising regularly, financial security, vacation time, and even dental checkups.  On those grounds, we here in Louisiana didn’t fare so well!


That raises the question: What are the criteria for happiness?  What truly does make a person happy?  What gives deep, abiding, unquenchable joy?


The good news is that we don’t have to be in doubt about that.  Jesus tells us.  Better than that, Jesus shows us.  Please open your Bible to John 13:1-17.  In these verses Jesus leads us down what I’m going to call “The Highway to Happiness.”  He will show us how to have happiness and joy that is inexplicable and full.


The Final Word

“The Highway to Happiness”

John 13:1-17


  1. Live in humility
    1. The source of humility
    2. The sample of humility
  2. Live in holiness
    1. Conversion cleanses us completely
    2. Confession cleanses us continually
  3. Live in happiness
    1. The principle of being a servant
    2. The practice of being a servant
Direct download: IBC_20170107.mp3
Category:The Final Word -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

La última palabra

"El camino a la felicidad"

Juan 13:1-17

  1. Vivir en humildad
  2. La fuente de la humildad
  3. El ejemplo de humildad
  4. Vivir en santidad
  5. La conversión nos limpia completamente
  6. La confesión nos limpia continuamente
  7. Vivir en felicidad
  8. El principio de ser un siervo
  9. La práctica de ser un siervo
Direct download: IBC_Espanol_20180107.mp3
Category:La última palabra -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

La Gran Historia

"Capítulo 6: Revelación"

Apocalipsis 5: 9-14


1. El cordero es digno

a. Por su carácter

b.Por su conquista


2. El cordero está trabajando

a. Para rescatar personas

b. Para restaurar personas


3. El cordero es adorado

a. A través de oraciones

b. A través de la alabanza

Direct download: IBC_Espanol_20171231.mp3
Category:La Gran Historia -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

The Big Story

“Chapter 6: Revelation”

Revelation 5:9-14


  1. The lamb is worthy
    1. Because of his character
    2. Because of his conquest
  2. The lamb is working
    1. To ransom people
    2. To restore people
  3. The lamb is worshipped
    1. In song
    2. By singers
Direct download: IBC_20171231.mp3
Category:The Big Story -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Direct download: IBC_20171224.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:52pm EST

Direct download: IBC_Espanol_20171224.mp3
Category:Nochebuena -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

In the span of a single day, an Argentinian woman received the two biggest shocks of her life.  First she heard the heartbreaking news that her newborn baby was stillborn.  Devastation.  Later that day she discovered in the morgue that her baby girl was actually still alive.


The infant, named, Luz Milagros, or “Miracle Light,” was pronounced a stillborn on April 3rd, 2012. Twelve hours after she “died,” her parents went down to the morgue to uncover the baby’s body in its coffin. They wanted a picture for the funeral.


As he opened the box, the baby let out a sudden cry and the mother fell to her knees in shock.  She said in a TeleNoticias interview: "That's where I heard a tiny little cry. I told myself I was imagining it—it was my imagination. And then I stepped back and saw her waking up. It was as if she was saying 'Mama, you came for me!'  That was when I fell to my knees. My husband didn't know what to do. We were just crying and I laughed and cried, cries and laughter.  We must have seemed crazy.  I'm a believer. All of this was a miracle from God''


There was a miracle in the morgue that day!  The little one that they thought was dead now is very much alive! 


This morning I want to take you to another family whose baby had brought them laughter.  In fact, his name, Isaac, meant “laughter.”  As we will see, that laughter was silenced for a time when it seemed that Isaac, now a vibrant young man, was as good as dead.  But God in His mercy spared Isaac’s life and, in so doing, pointed beyond that boy to another beloved Son who would die, yet live again.  It’s all a part of “the big story” of God’s redeeming love. 


The Big Story

“Chapter 3: Redemption”

Genesis 22:1-14


  1. The purpose of a faithful God
    1. A difficult order
    2. A direct obedience
    3. A definite optimism
  2. The provision of a faithful God
    1. A costly price
    2. A clear prophecy
  3. The promise of a faithful God
    1. We can receive his blessings
    2. We can relay his blessings
Direct download: IBC_20171210.mp3
Category:The Big Story -- posted at: 9:36am EST

Johnella Howard, 72-years-old, and her caretaker, Susan Snow, entered a Publix grocery store in Florida.  In the course of their shopping, Johnella apparently suffered a nasty fall.  Her caretaker rushed to the management of the store to report the fall.  Employees called 911 and first responders attended to her.


It was a nasty fall, because it was staged.  Truth be told, she didn’t fall as much as she took a dive! The whole episode was captured on camera.  The pair had come across some water in an aisle.  The footage shows Johnella smearing the water around with her foot.  She then kneels, and turns to sit, before lying down.  In fact, the camera catches her adjusting her hair before getting into position.


The motive?  Money.  They sued the store for $300,000, but an investigation revealed the ruse. 


What a fall from grace it turned out to be!  Instead of  getting $300,000, they were prosecuted and faced 35 years in prison.  The temptation and transgression came back to bite them—hard!


I thought of this bumbling pair as I prepared for this week’s message.  We are going to look at the story of the “fall of man.”  That is how Genesis 3 is typically described.  But the truth is, Adam and Eve didn’t fall as much as they took a dive.  They knew God’s will but purposefully transgressed it in hopes of some payoff, but oh the heartache their fall unleashed!


As we will see this morning, all of us too have fallen and, in most cases, the reality is that we’ve just taken a dive.  Like Adam and Eve, we’ve know what is right, but have often fallen for the wrong.  Their story is really ours as well.


But here’s the good news: though we are fallen, we can be forgiven! 


The Big Story

“Chapter 2: The Fall”

Genesis 3:1-9 and 21


  1. The choice to sin
    1. Our enemy has a target
    2. Our enemy has a tactic
  2. The consequences of sin
    1. Sin brings shame
    2. Sin brings separation
  3. The covering for sin
    1. Is an innocent sacrifice
    2. Is an invincible savior
Direct download: IBC_20171203.mp3
Category:The Big Story -- posted at: 9:42am EST