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Show Me – Jeremiah 6:16

Old Paths

Introduction

I am noticing more and more those in their 40s and up lamenting the changes they are seeing in the workplace, the family and even in church.  The lament will start something like this… “There was a time when I…” “Back in the day we…” “Things just ain’t the way they used to be”.

These laments, normally directed towards the younger generation, detail life as it was 30, 40 or 50 years ago to illustrate just how far we have fallen.  I’ll give you an example: two sentences ago my spell check griped about my use of the word “ain’t”; it didn’t used to do that, ain’t “ain’t” a word anymore?  In the good old days it was a word. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 7, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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And They Rose Up to Play…

Adoration of the Golden Calf Andrea di Lione, artist

I Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

This Sunday morning, referred to as the Lord’s day in Revelation 1:10, will unfortunately be a time when many who call Him ‘Lord, Lord’ forsake His altar and instead, like the children of Israel at the base of Sinai, will rise up to worship the golden calf gods of this world ie. the beach, the lake, the ball field. They will, like Paul says here, rise up to play.

Would to God they showed as much devotion to the one they have been known to call ‘Lord’.  Many Christians have supposed in this day and age, possibly due to the humanistic style of gospel preaching and teaching, that their happiness is paramount in God’s eyes and that, as long as they ‘love’ the Lord, they can do what makes them happy.  Faithfulness in their intentions rather than actions is considered sufficient.  They suppose that being faithful to God’s house is not as important as being faithful to tell others they love the Lord and His church.  Many have supposed that being a faithful servant or bearing the disciple’s cross is archaic and no longer required of the modern American Christian.  Why is this?  Why, my friends, would you suppose that when we have scriptural evidence to the contrary?  Take Luke’s gospel for instance: Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Have You Died Yet?

40a

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

The modern social gospel being promoted across the land in many churches today speaks of a religion that has no costs, brings no change, and seems to give all glory to the wrong party… us.  In fact, to hear most Christians discuss styles of worship, contemporary or traditional, you would think that worship itself was for the sole benefit of man.  The humanism that has crept into the contemporary sermons, has led many a lost soul to believe that they need only to believe and they have their ticket punched for glory.  Most then fall well short of what the apostle Paul called the ‘new creature in Christ Jesus’.

Why is this so?  It goes all the way back to the Old Testament.  Many of our gospel songs speak of crossing the Jordan River as though it was the passage from life on earth to life in eternity in heaven.  This is flawed because unlike Canaan, Heaven doesn’t have enemies to be destroyed.  Rather, the crossing of the Jordan River in the book of Joshua more aptly typifies our passage from the death of sin to the newness of life in Christ Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Battlegrounds of Good and Evil – III John

Introduction

Wherever you are the battle of good and evil rages.  All too often we see, and are affected by, the evil in society.  It can be overwhelming, frustrating and can even cause hopelessness.  Despair is a powerful emotion; it not only affects our mood, it can ruin friendships, health, jobs and even marriages.

We go to our local church hoping for sanctuary but in some cases evil can be sitting on a pew right beside us.  What hope do we have?  In a word, plenty! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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That’s Not Fair – 1 Samuel 18 – 24

Introduction

In Gal 6:9 and also in 2 Thes 3:13 we are told not to be weary in well doing.  Generally speaking we understand this, but, when we suffer for doing the right thing we don’t like it.  Let’s go ahead and say it…”That’s not fair”.

Usually when we have given of ourselves for the gain of others the last thing on earth we expect is to suffer for it.  It is these times when we think “Why does God allow this?”  Let me share with you the early years of David, son of Jesse.  During our fast forward through those early years I will be using “TNF” which stands for “That’s not fair”.  When you see “TNF” take a moment to think of David’s plight and how he handled it.  Get your bibles out and follow along. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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Those Old Sunday School Lessons

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Introduction

Recently I concluded a series of classes entitled “Old Sunday School Lessons”.  I rolled out those old time favorites like David and Goliath, Joseph & the Coat of Many Colors, Moses and the Red Sea and quite a few others.  My overall theme was faith with each lesson focusing on faith in God or having faith in His promises.

Benjamin Franklin is credited with a quote… “Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.” In context this was given in reference to those who stop learning and or growing as an individual.  Isn’t it a sad thought to consider that many can remember those old Sunday School lessons but have lost their passion for God’s word as they entered adulthood.  They might be young adults, middle aged or even senior adults but their spiritual awareness is the equivalent of an elementary education. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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Are You Acridophobic? – Ecclesiastes 12:5, Daniel Chapters 1-5

Introduction

The Preacher who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes ended his writings with a grim reminder of our mortality. Chapter 12 refers to our senior years as “evil days”.  The Preacher is so encouraging as he reminds us of what awaits; diminished eyesight, weak bones, curved spines, losing teeth, having trouble sleeping and loss of hearing.

Our lesson title comes from verse 5 which talks about various fears.  Midway through the verse the Preacher uses grasshoppers to illustrate how small things can become a very big deal.  What was once considered little things now become a fear or burden.  By the way, Acridophobia is the fear of grasshoppers.

In this lesson I want to confront the realities of our mortality, understand it and know that God can use anyone of any age to fulfill His purposes. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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Latrine Duty – Nehemiah 2:7 – 4:6

Introduction

Where in the world would you get a lesson title of “Latrine Duty” out of the bible?  I’ll answer that a little later.

One of my favorite movies of all time is “No time for Sergeants – Warner Brothers 1958” starring the late Andy Griffith.  In the movie Will Stockdale was given the post of “Permanent Latrine Orderly” by his drill Sergeant.  The Sergeant thought Will, played by Andy Griffith, was a country bumpkin and assigned the job with the intent of making fun of him.

Latrine Duty

Will accepted the assignment and took pride in his work.  Ultimately the scheme backfired on the Sergeant when the commanding officer found out.

The question posed by the movie was “how could a person accept such a loathsome job, perform the work with passion and take pride in the accomplishment?” As it turns out we have a bible account closely related to the job Will Stockdale received. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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Our Highest Priority – Nehemiah 1:1 – 2:8

Introduction

Today in our study we will be in the book of Nehemiah.  Contained within our scripture text is a man who found God’s highest priority for his life.  We will never be at peace unless we live in God’s highest priority for our life.

Let’s start with a quick history lesson.  As the book of Nehemiah opens it has been 90 plus years since King Cyrus made the original decree allowing the children of Israel to leave the land of their captivity and return to their home land.  The book of Ezra records that only a fraction of the children of Israel heeded the call, 42,360, and were led by a man named Zerubbabel. Upon their arrival they went right to work restoring the altar and laying the foundation for the temple walls.  When God’s people get serious about serving and honoring God it is only a matter of time before Satan comes calling.  The neighboring communities, stirred up by Satan, assemble the lawyers and went to work trying to stop the children of Israel from building the Temple.  A temporary injunction was obtained and the work stopped. Ultimately a search of the official records was performed and the original decree from Cyrus was found granting permission for Israel to go and rebuild.  Well great, the good guys win! While it is true the injunction was overturned the children of Israel became their own worst enemy.  The prophet Haggai informs us the people put themselves first and God was offered leftovers.  Poor choices allowed the work of God to languish for many years leading up to the scripture text in Nehemiah.  People lived and died around them never knowing the one true God because Israel was busy collecting this world’s goods. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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The Day God Ran Out of Patience

Judges 10 – 12:7

Introduction
If you are familiar with the book of Judges there is a repeating theme: Israel does evil, God becomes angry, they are oppressed, they cry to God and God raises up a deliverer.  Our lesson subject today follows this pattern but this time there is a new wrinkle.

In chapter 10:6 Israel drifts away from God to act like the world around them.  In this case, at this point in time, it was worshipping the false gods of Baal and Ashtaroth to name a couple.  If we can set aside the specific sin and see it generally as acting like everyone else around them I believe we would be better served.  When we think of them bowing down to a stone or wood image we tend to think of it as not applicable to us whereas when we substitute the specific act with wanting to fit in then it applies to us today.  We can all relate to the drawing power Satan has against us to fit in.  The specifics of those temptations are different but the basic temptation is the same, wanting to act like, and fitting in with, the world. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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