Sun, 26 June 2016
Acts 13: 36-39
1. A life of service
a. Time of his service
b. Target of his service
2. A life of sacrifice
a. Jesus died for sin
b. Jesus defeated sin
3. A life of salvation
a. The requirement for it
b. The results of it
Sun, 12 June 2016
I remember a time in school when something that I attempted completely backfired. A group of us students were at a park goofing off. There were some large swings there and I jumped in one. I swung as high as I could. I decided I would back flip out of the swing to impress the girls.
Well, I did it but I miscalculated! Instead of flipping out and gracefully landing on my feet in triumph, I over-rotated and landed right on my rear. Ouch! No permanent damage—just a mud-stained bottom and wounded pride.
I wanted to impress everyone but it backfired. I just embarrassed myself.
A lot of times in life things backfire. It happened in David’s life. He decides to count his men in a nation-wide census. I believe it may have been an attempt on his part to show the world his might and power. But it completely backfired. In fact, after the census he had fewer men than when he began.
What can we do when our foolish decisions backfire? This Sunday’s message will be a caution against foolhardy schemes and an encouragement that, even when life backfires, there is hope in Jesus.
“A Senseless Census”
2 Samuel 24
Sun, 5 June 2016
2 Samuel 11-12
Sun, 29 May 2016
Sun, 22 May 2016
The NBA playoffs are in full swing. This year’s teams include the likes of the Golden State Warriors, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers are led by none other than the King—LeBron James. He’s in his second stint with them. Although he has twice won the NBA championship with Miami, he’s never brought home the championship to his home state of Ohio. Northeast Ohio has been a depressed area. Cleveland, located on the shores of Lake Erie, is sometimes referred to as the “Mistake by the Lake.” Having grown up there with a single mom, LeBron knows what it would mean to his people. He wants to “bring it home.” I hope he and his teammates can do it.
There was another king who wanted to bring home something of infinitely greater value. David, the King of Israel, wanted to bring home the ark of the covenant of the Lord. That represented the very presence and power of God. These were blessings that they had lived without for many years. He knew what it would mean to his people to renew their relationship with the living God.
Every one of us ought to desire the same--to bring home the presence and power of God. The best news is that the “home” of God in our time is not a burning bush, a tabernacle or temple; we can be the living temple of the Lord. He wants to come and dwell in each and every heart.
Now that’s a victory we all ought to bring home! Bring it home!
“Bring It Home”
2 Samuel 6
Sun, 15 May 2016
It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. That’s not a biblical verse, but it’s got some truth in it. Just because you start well doesn’t guarantee that you’ll finish well.
Let me tell you about an example that happened earlier this month. The girls’ softball team at Wylie High School in Texas lost the district championship because they did not finish well.
Wylie was playing McKinney North High School, and they were up by two runs in the final inning of the game. There were two outs, but the bases were loaded with McKinney North players, so it was still a precarious situation. A McKinney North player hit the ball to short, and a Wylie player picked it up and fed it to her teammate at second.
Everyone on the Wylie team thought it was a forceout, and so they began throwing gloves and hats and running in to celebrate their championship victory. But what they didn't see was the umpire calling the runner safe at second, meaning they hadn't actually won.
McKinney North players figured out what was up, and they kept running the bases despite the other team acting like they'd won. One Wylie player finally realized what was happening and ran from the celebration to pick up the ball and throw home, but there was no one at home plate to catch the ball.
Wylie players rushed to pick up the gloves they'd thrown and get back in the game, but by that point it was too late. Three runs scored and McKinney North won the game 7-6.
Lesson? Don’t quit. Finish well.
God wants us to finish well. Just because you start well doesn’t guarantee that you’ll finish well. We are going to look at an example of this in the life of King Saul.
If you were to caption the life of Saul in a single verse, what would it be? Some have suggested that it be 1 Samuel 26:21b, “behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.” How did he “play the fool”? He started well. He finished tragically.
My prayer is that God will help us to “finish well”!
Key verse: “. . . behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly” (1 Sam. 26:21b, KJV).
Sun, 8 May 2016
1 Samuel 18:1-5
As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul (1 Sam. 18:1).
And Jonathan, Saul's son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God. 17 And he said to him, “Do not fear . . . . You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. . . .” (1 Sam. 23:16-17).
Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt (1 Sam. 18:3-4).
Sun, 1 May 2016
“How Underdogs Overcome”
1 Samuel 17
And David said to Saul, “Let no man's heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine” (1 Sam. 17:32).
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (1 Sam. 17:45).
This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand . . . that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel (1 Sam. 17:46).
Sun, 24 April 2016
1 Samuel 16:1-13
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature . . .” (1 Sam. 16:7a).
. . . For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart (1 Sam. 16:7b).
Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward (1 Sam. 16:13a).