Saturday, December 24, 2016

Last Year's Christmas Message (2015)

Here's an unusual post for you: genuine sermon outline notes from the church I attend remotely by conference call, Word is Truth Christian Church. I hope the notes and Scripture references give you a small taste of what the message was all about, and a small taste of the goodness of God.


"Word is truth" comes from John 17:17 which says, "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth." We took a break from our usual study of Titus for this special, seasonal message.

Please reply or leave a comment if you would like a link to the recorded sermon, if you have any questions or comments about the message, or if you'd like more information about participating in this weekly conference. 

The church is a virtual assembling of the saints with the purpose of learning the deep thoughts of God headed by Pastor Doug Presley. Messages are available on Dropbox upon request. Doug Presley says, "follow me as I follow Christ," on Twitter as @charislife. 

Thought of the Week

For this reason I kneel before the Father, (Ephesians 3:14)

One point to make is about Paul’s attitude before the Father in prayer.  Even though he has a ranking position in the Church [as an Apostle], notice he kneels before the Father.  Kneeling is not just posture; it is an attitude of humility.  It is an attitude which gives open recognition and respect for our eternal God and Father.  It says we are creatures from His hand and we have an abiding appreciation and admiration of His majesty.  It further says we willingly submit in total humility to this One who is all wise and powerful.  

Kneeling speaks more of our humility than it does posture.  It says we know His plan and willingly present ourselves before His wisdom to use us as He sees fit.  It is to abandon our agenda and place ourselves in the loving hands of the Father, willing and ready to act according to His will.  We are not to give ourselves to anyone or anything like this in this world.  We are not to bow to earthly rulers or angels because this type of worship and surrender belong only to the Father.  We are free to have this attitude anytime we approach God, whether kneeling or sitting, whether walking or driving in a car.  We can approach the Father with the reverence and honor He deserves. 

Sunday (12/27/2015)

(Luke 1:37) For with God nothing will be impossible.

Faith is our eyes to see God.  Of course, you know that God is invisible to the world generally speaking.  There have been some exceptions where God has chosen to make an appearance in the world.  Imagine that, there is physical, tangible evidence that God does indeed exist, and more than that, He wants us to know Him!  This Christmas season, stop and breathe in the wonder of almighty God visiting us in such a personal way.  “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). 

1.     For with God…
a.     Learn to consider God!
b.     Consider Him broadly (creation’s designer and planner)
c.     Consider Him personally (the babe in the manger, Heb 10:5; John 1:14)
d.     Consider Him intimately (We are made in Him image, not everything is, Gen 1:26, 27; Rom 8:16, 17; Gal 4:4-6)
e.     God is more real than we are, after all, we did not create Him, but He created us! (Psalm 100:3; Isa 42:5)
2.     nothing will be impossible
a.     We live in a miraculous world, don’t lose the marvel of life by looking past God.  Thank you for allowing me to BE and be here
b.     The miraculous is common to God, (the wizard of OZ analogy)
c.     The Christmas story is filled with impossibilities—BUT with GOD…nothing!
d.     We live in the atmosphere of God’s capabilities (all the time!), “and in Him all things consist.” (Col 1:17)
e.     Faith not only sees God, but it the recognition of HIM as the eternal cause 
f.      A great verse which expresses the desire of God (1Cor 13:12)
3.     Learn to respect what God has done
a.     Mary’s perfect response: "May your word to me be fulfilled."
b.     Merry Christmas!  Yet another opportunity to celebrate God, don’t miss it!
c.     Another way to honor God on Christmas, see Him AND His eternal plan


MarkB57 said...

Let's define God, big "g." I'll take a stab at it, in an attempt to see whether we are on the same page so to speak. God is everything inclusive, every category of thought including every category possible, even if not yet imagined by anyone. The defining statement that God is everywhere seems to confirm this. Life seems to be a box car race where the slope goes down and gravity is constant so there's no stopping fate, but at the same time I seem to have some control over this steering wheel, which I use to try affecting outcomes as I go along. So there's God. Big g. It's his hill, his gravity, all my molecules, his...or His. This day, like the steering wheel, is mine to turn, mine to appreciate, and mine to take responsibility for...

Dwight said...

Define God, big 'g', little 'odd'? ;-) Why stab at it? Dissection hardly reveals a person. Why define God as if I could define you? Would saying you have limbs, torso, toes, eyeballs, and a runny nose define you? How about describing your role as a husband, father, teacher, human? Is that you? Would it suffice? How would I learn these things anyway?

The best way to know you would be to let you define yourself. I can see your actions and the results. But that does nothing to clue me in about your reasons why you took those actions. Plus, the more self-aware you are, the better you can articulate in ways that I can understand. And if I am a teachable, humble student, I will learn. If I am a noisy, distracted, and arrogant student, I will not.

Better yet, imagine there's a spirit inside you that knows all your deep thoughts. Imagine you could just hand me that spirit and I could swallow it like a pill. Imagine then, as a result, think your thoughts without effort. I would know why you think those thoughts just as easily as if I had those thoughts myself.

Therefore, the question is not, "What is MarkB57?" The question is, "Who is MarkB57?" The question is not, "What is God?" The critical question is, "Who is God?"

All this other stuff, all Creation, everything that exists, is there for just one purpose: to let you know that this big 'g' little 'odd' Person is worth listening to as He reveals Himself.