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Syndication

Direct download: IBC_20180930.mp3
Category:Colossians -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

People love a good mystery.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave us Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick, Dr. Watson.  Agatha Christie delighted her audiences with the exploits of Hercule Poirot.  My generation grew up with the adventures of the Hardy Boys.  The companion series especially for girls was Nancy Drew.  Even current TV shows likeStranger Things, 24, and NCIS have elements of the mystery genre.

 

The most famous type of mystery is probably the “Whodunit.”  The plot twists and turns and the reader is left to figure out who is guilty of the crime.  Often the writer leads the readers down rabbit trails with the hope of totally surprising them with an unexpected conclusion.

 

History’s greatest mystery is this: “How can sinful humanity be made right with a loving, yet holy God.”  We are sinners.  That much is plain.  God does love us.  In his love He would forgive our sins, but, His holiness requires that sin and wrong be punished.  Will He love us and forgive us?  Or, will He do what is just and punish our sins?  How is this mystery solved?  Whodunit?

 

The Bible was not written to lead us down rabbit trails.  Instead, it is written to clearly reveal “whodunit.” This Sunday we will see in crystal-clear terms how God solved history’s greatest mystery. 

 

Jesus Reigns

“History’s Greatest Mystery”

Colossians 1:24-29

 

  1. Glad ministry

24Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known(1:24-25).

 

  1. A ministry of suffering
  2. A ministry of stewardship
  1. Glorious mystery

26The mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory(1:26-27).

 

  1. A mystery that is revealed
  2. A mystery that is relational
  1. Growing maturity

28Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me(1:28-29).

 

  1. A maturity that requires God’s wisdom
  2. A maturity that requires God’s work
Direct download: IBC_20180923.mp3
Category:Colossians -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

We are in the thick of the college football season.  Week 3 is upon us.  One of the most fun elements of the season is the college football rankings.  Everyone wants to know who’s number one. 


LSU started the year ranked 25th.  We then made the biggest jump of any team in America after beating Miami and rose to 11th.  We were lack-luster against Southeastern and slipped back to 12th.  Who knows where we will be after the game against Auburn this coming Saturday!

 

But there is a perennial power that is always number one!  And, no, I’m not talking about Alabama.  I’m not even talking about football per se.  I’m talking about the one who reigns above principality and power.  No need to wait with baited breath to see the weekly rankings.  He never slips from the top spot.  He is the Lord Jesus!  Of His kingdom there shall be no end!

 

Colossians clearly presents the truth that Jesus reigns above all.  This Sunday we will continue unpacking this truth and how it should impact every arena of our lives.  Join us at Istrouma!

 

Jesus Reigns

Part 2

Colossians 1:15-23

 

  1. Over the Creation
    1. Because of His revelation
    2. Because of His rank
  2. Over the Church
    1. Because of His preeminence
    2. Because of His peace
  3. Over the Christian
    1. Because of our past
    2. Because of our present
    3. Because of our future
Direct download: IBC_20180916.mp3
Category:Colossians -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

The world has seen its share of great empires and rulers. 

 

  • The Roman Empire lasted 1500 years.  It stretched around the Mediterranean Sea with parts of Europe, Africa and the East.  Caesar Augustus, perhaps the most famous of Rome’s potentates, ruled for 40 years.

 

  • The British Empire lasted for centuries.  It was the empire upon which the “sun never sat” because its protectorates and territories spanned the globe.  Queen Victoria ruled for 63 years.  Her great-great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth, is on the throne and has surpassed 67 years as Queen.

 

  • At times we’re tempted to think we here in the United States are history’s greatest superpower.  But we’ve only existed 241 years and our longest-tenured leader was President Franklin Roosevelt who was in office 12 years.  We’re barely a blip on the screen.

 

But there is an empire that is eternal and a King who is supreme and without peer or rival. 

 

At His birth the angel declared, “. . . you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. . . . and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:31b-33).

 

Perhaps no book of the Bible better presents this King and His Kingdom to us than does Colossians.  We will make this brief book our home for the next 10 weeks or so.  We will proclaim loudly and clearly that “Jesus Reigns.” 

 

His reign is beneficent.  Let’s bow our knees and wills before Him for His glory and our own good.

 

Jesus Reigns

Colossians 1:1-14

 

  1. In our relationships(1:1-2)
    1. Strangers to one another
    2. Siblings to one another
  2. In our requests(1:3-12)
    1. Our prayers should include appreciation
    2. Our prayers should include appeals
  3. In our redemption(1:13-14)
    1. He rescues us
    2. He relocates us
Direct download: IBC_20180909.mp3
Category:Colossians -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Micah Caiting, Student Minister

Direct download: IBC_20180902.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Direct download: IBC_20180902_Espanol.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

In war, communication between the commander-in-chief and his troops in the field is essential.  It can be the difference between victory and defeat.

 

In WWII the United States faced Japan in the Pacific theatre.  It was a conflict marked by desperate, brutal, and costly battles in places like Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

 

One key element that tipped the scales in American favor was our secure lines of communication.  We had recruited scores of young men from the Navajo tribe to serve as communication specialists.  The Navajo language is one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn due to its syntax and tonal features.  Unless you are a native speaker, it is virtually impossible to acquire their language.  The Japanese were never able to break the communication code that the Navajo “wind talkers” established.

 

Clear and constant communication between military leadership and boots on the ground is essential for ultimate victory.

 

Today a war rages about us.  It is unseen but real.  It is a conflict between our Commander-in-chief, the Lord God, and the Devil and the forces of evil.  How this war will fare in your life and mine depends, in large measure, on the communication that we have with God. 

 

Thankfully, we do not need a special code.  He understands Navajo, English, Spanish, and every other language on earth.  He even interprets the muffled cries of a broken heart.  Prayer is how we communicate with our Lord and bring His inexhaustible resources to bear on the battles that we face.  It is the capstone piece of our spiritual armor.

 

Ephesians 6:18-20 says, “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”

 

 

Let’s pray and win the spiritual battles we face!

 

Suit Up!

 “The Weapons of Our Warfare: Part 3”

Ephesians 6:18-20

 

  1. All times

 

Praying at all times in the Spirit, (6:18a).

 

  1. All types

 

With all prayer and supplication (6:18b).

 

 

  1. All tenacity

 

To that end, keep alert with all perseverance (6:18c).

 

  1. All tenderness

 

Making supplication for all the saints (6:18d).

Direct download: IBC_20180826.mp3
Category:Suit Up! -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Direct download: IBC_20180826_Espanol.mp3
Category:EQUÍPATE -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Direct download: IBC_20180826_Espanol.mp3
Category:EQUÍPATE -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Football is a tough sport.  Injuries are common and it seems that players are only getting bigger, stronger and faster with each passing season.  But it might surprise you to know that there was a time when it was even more brutal than it is today.

 

In 1905, for example, there were 20 deaths related to football injuries.  Rules were few and protective gear was virtually non-existent.  Here’s a picture of a game from that year.  Note how few of the players had helmets or shoulder pads or anything of the sort.  No wonder so many died.

 

It got so bad that the President of the United States at that time, Teddy Roosevelt, convened a conference at the White House with officials from schools like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to see what changes could be made so that the sport would not be outlawed!

 

Gridiron gladiators need their armor!  It would be foolhardy to run onto a field of play without your helmet or pads.  But it would be far more foolish to engage in the skirmishes of life without the proper protective gear. 

 

We are in a battle that is more intense and has higher stakes than any sporting event.  It is war—spiritual war.  Thankfully, we have a tactical manual and adequate armor so that we can win this war.

 

This Sunday we will tackle (no pun intended) part 2 of “The Weapons of Our Warfare.”   We’ll learn about our shield, our salvation and our sword.  We’ll be encouraged to strap them all on tightly as we engage in this spiritual battle.

 

Suit Up!

 “The Weapons of Our Warfare: Part 2”

Ephesians 6:16-17

 

  1. Take up your shield

In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one (6:16).

 

  1. Of conviction
  2. Of conquest
  1. Take up your salvation

And take the helmet of salvation (6:17a).

 

  1. For victory over the penalty of sin
  2. For victory over the power of sin
  3. For victory over the presence of sin
  1. Take up your sword

And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (6:17b).

 

  1. Of the Spirit
  2. Of the Scriptures
Direct download: IBC_20180819.mp3
Category:Suit Up! -- posted at: 12:00pm EST