Hanging of the Christmas Green. A service for the beginning of Advent.

Hanging of the Christmas Green at FBCAP

The Meaning of the Service

Since the second-century, Christians have set aside a time of the year to commemorate and remember the incarnation of the Son of God through the birth of Jesus Christ. Though cultures, traditions, and decorations may change; the truth of the gospel that is made clear during the Advent and Christmas season remains the same.

When Adam and Eve fell into sin, all of humanity fell with them. But even as God was pronouncing judgment on them, he promised a future deliverer and Savior who would come. When cursing the serpent, God said these words,

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15 ESV)

Even from the beginning, God made a promise to conquer sin and to crush the head of the serpent. This is the promise of Christmas:  that God has come to deliver us from sin and the power of Satan.

We will be decorating our Sanctuary with different items today, each meant to illustrate something about the gospel to us.

As we see familiar Christmas decorations being displayed this morning, we hope that they will be filled with new meaning for those whose hope is in Jesus, the Light of the World.

The Christmas Wreaths

When God created the world, it was an act of pure joy as His beauty and wisdom were written on everything that had been made. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this in Romans 1

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” (Romans 1:20 ESV)

And the Psalmist declared, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”(Psalm 19:1 ESV)

So God’s nature can be perceived through the things he has made. God communicates small parts of himself through the simplest things like the rushing waters, the mountain peaks, or the wind blowing through the trees.

At Christmastime, we hang wreaths. Most people think nothing of putting a wreath on their door; it’s just something you do because it’s Christmas after all. But what if a lesson could be learned in something as simple as a Christmas wreath?

The circle carries tremendous significance when we think about the nature of God. Just as God has no beginning and no end, so the circle of the Christmas wreath is without beginning and end. God is eternal. As the Psalm declares, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (Psalm 90:2 ESV)

The color of the Christmas wreath is green, reminding us that God is the source and creator of all life. Without him, there would be nothing. He is the Creator, sustainer, and provider of all things and as such, He alone has every right to demand worship and adoration from His creatures.

Garland and Pew Bows

Unfortunately, even though Paul says that God reveals himself in many ways through the created world; there’s a big problem.

Instead of turning to thank God for creation and the blessings he gives; men naturally turn to idols. Whether this is by worshipping created things like trees, rocks, and carved images or arrogantly trusting in our own power and might; the hearts of men are factories for idols.

In that same passage we read earlier, Paul goes on saying, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things… they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.” (Romans 1:21-25 ESV)

Even though men turn to idols and refuse to worship God; God still loves all creation, including humanity. Though many will always refuse God and will always be rebels against him and his Law; God promises mercy and pardon to those who turn to him.

Even when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God showed mercy by covering their shame. When they ate the forbidden fruit, out first parents were made aware of their nakedness and were ashamed and tried to cover themselves with leaves.

But God in his kindness made them clothing from animal skins so that they might not be ashamed. Not only that, but he made a promise to one day deliver not only them, but all of humanity from the curse of sin and death.

The evergreen we will hang tonight reminds us of God’s eternal faithfulness and mercy toward us, his sinful creatures. Even though we deserve nothing more than death and hell, God’s infinite patience and mercy offers pardon and redemption. But this pardon does not come without a price.

Just like Adam and Eve’s nakedness was covered by a sacrificial animal, our sins must also be atoned for by nothing less than a blood-sacrifice. The red of the pew bows will remind us of the blood that God required throughout the Old Testament.

But these blood sacrifices were not the end of God’s plan. No, but they pointed to something far greater than themselves, one perfect sacrifice that would be once and for all:  the sacrifice of a perfect, spotless lamb.

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-24 ESV)

Poinsettias

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4-7 ESV)

Those words by the Apostle Paul to the Galatians contain the beauty of the Christmas story and the whole of the gospel. The eternal Son of God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ so that he might offer himself as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of humanity.

No more sacrifices of birds and goats and rams were needed; nor was there any more need for a high priest because Jesus became our High Priest and our perfect sacrifice when he offered himself on the cross.

Christmas is a time of beauty and light, but only because Christ endured a season of suffering and anguish on our behalf.

Paul said, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV)

Because Jesus became our sin and crucified it to the cross, we are able to be the very righteousness of God. That’s what makes this a season of light, a season of love, and a season of beauty.

Without the cross of Christ at the center; our celebration would be meaningless and we would still be in our sins. The poinsettias that we will display tonight have been given in honor of loved ones from families of our church; but their significance goes far deeper.

When we look at the poinsettia, we are reminded again of the suffering of Jesus. The red reminds us of his blood. Jesus said this was the blood of the New Covenant. It is the only blood that makes us right with God. The points of the flower remind of the nails and spear that pierced Jesus’ hands, feet, and side and the crown of thorns that pierced his brow.

By this simple flower, we are reminded of the great price that Jesus paid for our salvation. As we remember Christ’s sacrifice, let us also remember that this great gift makes Christmas as special as it is.

Men are sinful and in need of a Savior. God, in love and mercy sent his only Son, Jesus to be the Savior so that by offering himself as a sacrifice, Christ would save all of those who believe in him. That’s the story of Christmas, and it’s the story of the gospel.

Candles

When Jesus entered the world, he came as a light shining in a dark place. The Prophet Isaiah said, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” (Isaiah 9:2 ESV)

This was foretelling a time when the light of God would break through the darkness of the world with the birth of Jesus Christ to Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem.

Indeed, not only did Jesus represent the light of God to humanity, but he himself is “the light of the world.”

But even Jesus didn’t stop there, but he said, ““You are the light of the world.” Who was he talking to? He was talking to us, his followers, his disciples. Yes, Jesus is the light of the world who shows the way to God, but he has also called us to be lights in the world; lights that point the way to him.

Before he left earth, Jesus gave his disciples this mission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 ESV)

The mission Jesus left us is to shine as his lights in the world; to shine the light of the gospel in a world of sin and darkness. As we light the candles in the window, let us remember that Christ has commanded us to not only celebrate, but share the joy of the Christmas message.

(Script was written by Rev. Matthew Price and Joy Loomis of FBCAP)

Deuteronomy 6:10-25 – “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one” part 2

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, Nov 23rd as we walk through the book of Deuteronomy. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:45 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/  We also provide the services through our website by Sunday afternoon at www.fbcap.net

Deuteronomy 6:10-25

INTRO
  • HEAR, O ISRAEL
  • The Shema – 6:1-9 (Hear, Love, Teach, Talk, Bind, Write)
  • In this section the emphasis is on…ONCE YOU GET IN THE LAND.  LIVING OUT THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH YAHWEH.
    • Living out their love for Him – Their devotion unto Him
    • LIVING LIKE THERE IS NO OTHER GOD!!!
WHEN the Lord brings you into the Land – vv. 10-11
  • He is going to do it.
  • He DID DO IT.
TAKE CARE LEST YOU FORGET – vv. 12-19

Forget what? (the Lord our God the Lord is one)

  • Forget who God is. – What He has done. – What He will continue to do.

How God’s people are to live. – v. 13

  • Fear the Lord – Reverence, Submission
  • Serve the Lord – Obedience/Worship/Follow
  • Honor His name – Our words.

How God’s people are not to live – v. 14

  • Do not walk after other Gods
    • Loyal devotion to YAHWEH

Because God is a jealous God – v. 15

  • (Passionate) God is not jealous of us, BUT JEALOUS FOR US.
  • WILL NOT SHARE HIS LOVE WITH ANOTHER
DO NOT TEST, BUT TRUST – vv. 16-19

Genuinely believe – diligently keepv. 17

  • Believe His Word and Trust in His Word

Faithfully KeepDo what is right and good – v. 18a

  • In sight of the Lord

Joyfully Trust vv. 18b-19

  • Blesses those that are His – that it may go well with you
  • Judges those that are His enemies – thrusting out enemies
CONTINUE TO PASS ALONG – vv. 20-25

When your sons ask what the meaning is – v. 20

Then you shall tell him – vv. 21-23

  • KEEP THE TRUTH GOING…Do not deviate.

Where we were

  • Their need of salvation – v. 21a

What God Did

  • God’s deliverance – v. 21b
  • God’s demonstration of power – v. 22
  • Their possession– v. 23
    • Brought out to give
    • Egypt to the promise land.
    • Bondage to prosperity
    • Dead to alive

How God told us to live. – vv. 24-25 (summation)

  • Do all these statues v. 24a
    • Hear, acknowledge, Do
  • Fear the Lord our Godv. 24b

SO THAT

  • He will bless us always – for our good alwaysv. 24c
  • He will keep us – Preserve us alive
  • It will be righteousness for usv. 25 a

IF WE ARE CAREFUL TO DO ALL THIS COMMANDMENT BEFORE THE LORD OUR GOD, AS HE HAS COMMANDED US.

Once this was impossible, but now in Christ…and because of His righteousness… we can obey these commandments.

  • We can be blessed
  • We can live in the land
  • We can truly trust
  • We can pass them along

Deuteronomy 6:1–9 – “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one”

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, Nov 15th as we walk through the book of Deuteronomy. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:45 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/  We also provide the services through our website by Sunday afternoon at www.fbcap.net

Deuteronomy 6:1–9 – “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one”

INTRO:
  1. (Chapter 5) Moses has finished the reading of the 10 Commandments. God then instructs Moses to listen…then share with the people all the law and commandments.
  2. He now addresses this generation about the importance of acknowledging God’s Word, believing in them and doing them.  SO THAT they can live like God’s Covenant people.  Living in such a way that they acknowledge Him as YAHWEH….LIVING AS COVENANT PEOPLE IN THE LAND.
  3. His concern and warning…DO NOT TO REPEAT THE MISTAKES OF THE PREVIOUS GENERATION.
THE TEXT
THE PREFACE – A PLEA FOR UNDERSTANGING – 6:1-3

AN INTRO TO THE REST OF THIS BIG SECTION (Chapters 6:4-26:19).  Moses is conveying the authority & importance of these words.

So, that they will know how to live as God’s people.

“Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, [2] that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. [3] Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. – vv. 1-3

  • NOW…listen, take heed, pay attention, are you listening???  ALL THAT FOLLOWS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!!! – v. 1
  • God gave it to Moses. (FROM GOD to Moses…to the People) – v. 1
  • To teach the people (instruction, with a purpose… a changed life) – v. 1
  • That they may DO them (Goal is change. Understanding and Action) – v. 1
  • In the land they are to possess. (GOD GAVE IT TO THEM.  TO TAKE, but they need to keep obeying to keep) – v. 1
  • That you may fear the Lord (Honor, Reverence, Worship)– v. 2
  • All the days of your life…your son, and your son’s son. (KEEP ON BELIEVING, TRUSTING AND DOING) – v. 2
  • That your days may be long (BLESSED BY THE LORD) – v. 2
  • Hear.  (let it sink in) – v. 3
  • Be careful to do (dedication, diligence, determination….MOTIVATED BY LOVE AND DEVOTION) – v. 3
  • That it may go well with you.  Multiply greatly (HIS BLESSING) – v. 3
  • As the Lord has promised you (God’s Word is trustworthy…always has been…always will be) – v. 3
  • In a land flowing with milk and honey (satisfying) – v. 3
THE SHEMA – (Hebrew for Hear)
  • THEY KEY PRINCIPLE OF THIER FAITH
  • THE FOUNDATION FOR THE WAS TO FOLLOW.  THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS.
  • Israel’s pledge of allegiance
  • Even today…Devote Jews pray this prayer twice a day.  A Christians and the LORD’S PRAYER

[4] “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. [5] You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. [6] And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. [7] You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. [8] You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. [9] You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

HEAR, LOVE, TEACH, TALK, BIND, WRITE

HearThe Lord is One.  HE IS GOD. – v. 4

For an in-depth study on the “Doctrine of God” – The Attributes of God – A.W. Pink (this is “big boy reading”)

Love the Lord with (exclusive and constant) – v.5-6

  • Heart – inner being. Intellect. ALL OUR BEING
  • Soul – Desire, literally appetite. Emotions.  EVERY ASPECT OF OUR PERSONALITY
  • Might – word means greatness, exceedingly. Our Will power. WITHOUT EXCEPTION OR RESERVATION.
  • They shall be on your heart. WHO YOU ARE.  FROM THE INSIDE OUT – v. 6

Teach them diligently to your children – v. 7

  • Serious, Priority, Continuous
  • Instruct. Knowledge and application (INFO then WISDOM)
  • Pass along

Talk of them – v. 7

  • Part of every aspect of one’s life
  • Everything thing done is done under the call TO LIVE AS GOD’S PEOPLE
  • All of life is an opportunity to GLORIFY GOD

Bind them on hands and eyes – v. 8

  • Permeates our life. Shows importance

Write them on the door posts and gates – v.9

  • Coming and Going
  • Everywhere we go we live for God
CONCLUSION

The command was PLAN. It was ACKNOWLEDGED. It was UNDERSTOOD

Yet, 2 Kings ends very tragically.

  • Slowly and surely…with the passing of time…
  • Little by little they deviated from the Word

Jesus repeats this passage in Matthew 22:34 & Mark 12:28

  • Tuesday of Holy Week
  • In the midst of the religious leaders challenging Him.
  • Love your neighbor – Lev. 19
  • Summation of all the Law and Prophets

Under the OT it was impossible to obey completely. In the NT…JESUS DID.

THE GOSPEL MAKES this the greatest commandment? – THAT WE CAN KNOW TRULY OBEY AND FULFILL.

  • To be born again…to a living Hope
  • As new creations in Christ.
  • Through Christ….I CAN TRULY LOVE

1 Peter 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

Deuteronomy 5:21 – “And you shall not covet.”

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, Nov 8th as we walk through the book of Deuteronomy. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:45 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/  We also provide the services through our website by Sunday afternoon at www.fbcap.net

Deuteronomy 5:21 – And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

COVET

To want and DESIRE wrongly. To wrongly want something someone else has. (an unhealthy ambition)

You neighbor’s spouse

  • They are nice looking
  • They act differently then my spouse
  • I wish my spouse treated me like that

Your neighbor’s house, servant, ox, donkey

  • They have nice stuff.
  • More than me, better than me

Or anything that is your neighbors

  • their talents and abilities
  • job, success,
  • family
We should take it very serious

Romans 1:28–32 – [28] And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. [29] They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, [30] slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, [31] foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. [32] Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (ESV)

Ephesians 5:1–5 – [1] Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. [2] And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.[3] But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. [4] Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. [5] For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (ESV)

THIS DOES NOT MEAN we cannot have ambition… a desire for things or for a desire for things to be different.

The Key to not COVETING is CONTENTMENT

We want what someone else has….AND when our DESIRE leads to DISCONTENTMENT

Not satisfied with what GOD HAS GIVEN (HIS PROVISION AND CARE)

  • Confusing needs and wants
  • Colossians 3:5 –  Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (ESV)

WE BEGIN TO GRUMBLE ABOUT OUR MARRIAGE, OUR HOME, OUR JOB.

  • WHEN WE GRUMBLE we are questioning God
    • His Wisdom – He knows what is best
    • His Love – He knows what is best for His glory and our benefit.
The Seriousness of it

To Covent…or lack of Contentment (the 10th commandment) could be viewed as a summation of the other 9 commandments

  • Contentment with my HEAVENLY RELATIONSHIP
  • Contentment with my EARTHLY RELATIONSHIPS

HEART FOR God

  • I am content in who He is and my relationship with Him.
    • HE IS ENOUGH
  • I am content in my daily life with HIM
    • LIVING DAILY FOR HIS GLORY…not dependent on stuff that I do not have, but in what God has provided.
    • PROVIDED FROM HIM TO ME
    • WHAT I HAVE AND HOW I SHOW IT. (GRARTITUDE!!!!)

1 Timothy 6:6–10 – [6] But godliness with contentment is great gain, [7] for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. [8] But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. [9] But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. [10] For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (ESV)

OUR GREATEST UNDERSTANDING OF CONTENTMENT AND GRATITUDE IS REMEMBERING AND REJOICING IN WHO I AM IN CHRIST. (Paul gives a great example)

Philippians 4:10–13 – [10] I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. [11] Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. [12] I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. [13] I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (ESV)

Deuteronomy 5:20 “And you shall not bear false witness”

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, Nov 1st as we walk through the book of Deuteronomy. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:45 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/  We also provide the services through our website by Sunday afternoon at www.fbcap.net

Deuteronomy 5:20

And you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

  • Our words are powerful
  • Hard to take back things we have said
  • OUR TONGUE…James 1:26, Chp. 33:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.
False Witness
  • Giving false information against another.  To discredit someone… by your words.
  • To lie.

In Biblical times…the words of a witness were crucial (different today with the technology we have to prove a crime)

  • 1 Kings 21 – Ahab, Jezebel, and Naboth’s vineyard

We may not be asked to testify as a witness, but still…our words about ONE ANOTHER ARE VERY IMPORTANT.

Gossip
  • False about someone
  • True that is not necessary

Proverbs 18:8 – The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. (ESV)

2 Corinthians 12:20 – For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. (ESV)

Gossip in the Bible

Slander
  • Deliberately passing along what is false about someone

Matthew 15:19–20a – [19] For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. [20] These are what defile a person. (ESV)

Judging
  • Forming and declaring an opinion of someone without doing the due diligence to determine the facts.
  • Condemning someone rashly
  • Twitter/Facebook today….IS TERRIBLE

Matthew 7:2–5 – [2] For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. [3] Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? [4] Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? [5] You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (ESV)

Conclusion

Proverbs 19:5 – A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape.

Proverbs 6:16–19 – [16] There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: [17] haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, [18] a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, [19] a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. (ESV)

Something else to consider:

ARE WE KNOWN FOR BUILDING UP OR TEARING DOWN?

Ephesians 4:29–32 – [29] Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. [30] And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. [31] Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. [32] Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (ESV)

  • We can be right and not handle it right
  • We can be right but not allow God to utilize me to help others

2 Timothy 2:22–26 – [22] So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. [23] Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. [24] And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, [25] correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, [26] and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (ESV)

1 Peter 3:8–12 – [8] Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. [9] Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. [10] For

              “Whoever desires to love life

                             and see good days,

              let him keep his tongue from evil

                             and his lips from speaking deceit;

              [11] let him turn away from evil and do good;

                             let him seek peace and pursue it.

              [12] For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,

                             and his ears are open to their prayer.

              But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (ESV)

WE CAN EITHER BY A FALSE WITNESS OR A GOSPEL WITNESS

Acts 1:8 – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (ESV)

OUR WORDS SHOULD BE A WITNESS TO THE GRACE, LOVE, MERCY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST UPON OUR LIFE.

OUR WORDS SHOULD FIRST AND FOREMOST BRING GLORY AND HONOR TO GOD.

Reformation Day and the Five Solas

Many people realize today is Halloween, but I am afraid very few will realize it is also Reformation Day.

Take a few minutes today to consider the historical impact the Protestant Reformation has had on the Church and the spread of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have included a few links that I think will be helpful as you read up on this SIGNIFICANT DAY.


What Is Reformation Day All About? – https://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-reformation-day-all-about/

Are the Five Solas Biblical? – https://equip.sbts.edu/article/five-solas-biblical/

Deuteronomy 5:19 – “You shall not steal”

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, Oct. 25th as we walk through the book of Deuteronomy. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:45 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/. We also provide the services through our website by Sunday afternoon at www.fbcap.net


Deuteronomy 5:19 – You shall not steal

A Barna Poll years ago stated that 86% of people believe that have not broken the 8th commandment.

  • Yet, there is way much more to this than being a thief or robber.

Heidelberg Catechism – written in 1563

What does God forbid in the eighth commandment?

God forbids not only outright theft and robbery 1 but also such wicked schemes and devices as false weights and measures, deceptive merchandising, counterfeit money, and usury; 2 we must not defraud our neighbor in any way, whether by force or by show of right. 3 In addition God forbids all greed 4 and all abuse or squandering of his gifts. 5

1.Ex 22:1; 1 Cor 5:9, 10; 6:9, 10.

2.Deut 25:13-16; Ps 15:5; Prov 11:1; 12:22; Ezek 45:9-12; Lk 6:35.

3.Mic 6:9-11; Lk 3:14; Jas 5:1-6.

4.Lk 12:15; Eph 5:5.

5.Prov 21:20; 23:20, 21; Lk 16:10-13.

THE OBVIOUS
  • Theft or robbery
  • Cheating / Schemes
  • False weights and measurements (gaining what is not ours)
  • Plagiarism… in our context today. (claiming what is not ours)
THE NOT SO OBVIOUS…

Not doing what we should be doing….IS THIS NOT ALSO STEALING?

1 Peter 2:9–12 – [9] But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. [10] Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

[11] Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. [12] Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. (ESV)

IF WE BELONG TO HIM…

We are here for a purpose and mission!!!!!

IN OUR EARTHLY RELATIONSHIPS

WITH OUR LABOR and WORK

  • Col. 3:23-24 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
  • Eph. 4:28 – Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 
  • 1 Thess 4:11-12 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
IN OUR HEAVENLY RELATIONSHIP

WITH OUR TREASURES

  • Our time, talents, and treasure (tithe)
  • Malachi 3:6-12 – ROBBING GOD – [6] “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. [7] From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ [8] Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. [9] You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. [10] Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. [11] I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts. [12] Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the LORD of hosts. (ESV)

WITH ALL 3 WE ARE ROBBING GOD!!!!!!

We doubt God’s

  • Presence – Power – Provision – Promises

CONCLUSION

What are we here to do?

As believers, how am I “robbing God”?

What is the main focus of my life?  What drives me?

1 Peter 1:3–5 – [3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, [4] to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, [5] who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

  • The temporal or eternal
  • Making memories?!?!?!?!?
  • Where do we invest our treasures?

Matthew 6:19–21 – [19] “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, [20] but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. [21] For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

  • Do not lay up HERE
  • Lay up THERE

Deuteronomy 5:18 “You shall not commit adultery”

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, Oct. 18th as we walk through the book of Deuteronomy. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:45 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/  We also provide the services through our website by Sunday afternoon at www.fbcap.net

Deut. 5:18 – You shall not commit adultery

The Commandment Stated

Why does it matter?

  • BECAUSE GOD IS HOLY
  • BECAUSE GOD’S DESIRE IS FOR HIS CREATION TO FIND THEIR SATISFACTION IN WHO THEY ARE IN HIM (OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM…OUR MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP)
  • BECAUSE OF GOD’S DESIRE FOR MARRIAGE (MAN & WOMAN…OUR MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN)
God has a DIVINE PLAN FOR HIS CREATION

Gen. 2:18-24

  • God’s Divine Plan
  • Complementary. Perfectly fit together
  • One Man and One Woman

Malachi 2:13-16

  • A covenant
  • Coming together to fill the earth
This covenant relationship is made complete through Christ and the Gospel

Because of His GRACE – His power, presence and promises

Ephesians 5:22-25, 31-32

  • Linked the Old with the New
  • Marriage is a Picture of Christ and the Church

Husband – loves, leads, sacrifices, cherishes, nourishes

  • Is my Wife closer to the Lord because of me or in spite of me?

Wife – loves, respects, follows

  • Do I love what God has created me to be?
THE ROOT OF ADULTERY is THE HEART
Matt. 5:27-30 – Jesus preaching the Sermon on the Mount

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. vv. 27-28

With Lustful Intent Epithumeo

  • Desire, covet, long for
  • When a glance becomes a stare.
  • 2 Sam. 11:1-4 – David and Bathsheba

From the Words of the Savior – OUR SIN IS A BASIC HEART ISSUE

BEHAVIOR = HEART

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.vv.29-30

THE WHAT NOW

Do Not Commit Adultery

Do Not live with lustful intent

Be aware

  • Self-examination. Realize what you are capable of.
  • CALL SIN WHAT IT IS.
  • Realize that we live in a fallen world. WE ALL WILL BE TEMPTED.  WE ALL WILL SUFFER.  WE ALL LIVE IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE.
  • John 17:15-19 – Do not take me out of the world, but keep me from the evil one.

Be intentional

  • 1 Cor. 9:24-27 – Run as Paul.
  • Discipline, Effort
  • What we feed will grow!!!!!! CONSIDER WHAT WE WATCH, LISTEN TO, and PUT OURSELVES AROUND.

Be radical

  • Dare to be different.
  • Sacrifice.  DO WITHOUT SO THAT YOU MAY OBTAIN.
  • Put off – Put on

SCRIPTURE
Genesis 2:18–24 – [18] Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” [19] Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. [20] The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. [21] So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. [22] And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. [23] Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”[24] Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Malachi 2:13–16 – [13] And this second thing you do. You cover the LORD’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. [14] But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. [15] Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. [16] “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.” (ESV)

Ephesians 5:22–25 – [22] Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. [23] For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. [24] Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. [25] Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, (ESV)

Ephesians 5:31–32 – [31] “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” [32] This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (ESV)

2 Samuel 11:1–5 – [1] In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

[2] It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. [3] And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” [4] So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. [5] And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.” (ESV)

John 17:15–19 – [15] I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. [16] They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. [17] Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. [18] As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. [19] And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. (ESV)

1 Corinthians 9:24–27 – [24] Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. [25] Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. [26] So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. [27] But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (ESV)

Deuteronomy 5:17 – Thou Shall Not Murder

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, Oct. 11th as we walk through the book of Deuteronomy. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:45 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/  We also provide the services through our website by Sunday afternoon at www.fbcap.net

Deuteronomy 5:17 – Thou Shall Not Murder

THE COMMAND:

Murder – The taking of innocent life

  • Merriam-Webster – to kill (a human being) unlawfully and with premeditated malice
The sixth commandment requires that we honor human life.
  • God is the giver of life and only He has the right to take it.
  • Because we are made in the image of God, murder is an attack against God. Gen. 1:26-27; 9:6
    • Who He is
    • What He has done
    • What He is doing
    • His purpose and His ways
  • This does not include: (Key Word is INNOCENT)
    • Self Defense
    • Capital Punishment
    • War
  • Does include death caused by irresponsible actions or lack of action.
    • Doing or not doing what is responsible to prevent unnecessary death
    • Example…Leaving a loaded gun out.  Laws requiring fences around pools.

AbortionPsalm 139:13

  • Yes, we should have a choice with our bodies
  • The argument is…NO ONE SHOULD TELL ME WHAT I SHOULD DO.  Usually this refers to the govt.
  • Being controlled by the govt. is not at stake here.  THE TAKING OF AN INNOCENT LIFE IS.

Suicide – Taking one’s own life.

  • Many things are at stake here. – Mental, Physical, Spiritual
  • I personally believe a true believer can commit suicide.  It is not the unpardonable sin.  Just as any believer can commit any other sin.  Yet, suicide is not the way to deal with life and the issues surrounding life.
PLEASE LOOK AT AND LEARN FROM THESE 2 SOURCES.
Understanding and Dealing with Suicide (video and notes)
A Christian response to suicide and suicidal thoughts.

Euthanasia – To assist in the taking of the life of others in a dire situation.

  • DOES NOT MEAN – Letting someone pass in peace and dignity.
    • Stopping the treatment.  Quality of days rather than quantity.

A SHARPER FOCUS OF THE COMMANDMENT – THE LAW OF CHRIST

  • THE MOSAIC LAW says
  • THE LAW OF CHRIST says
Matt: 5:21-26 – Jesus said that at the heart of Murder is Anger
OUR HEART
  • Examine our heart.  What are our idols.  What get us irritated and angry.
OUR WORDS
  • Insults, You fool v. 22
  • WE BETTER BE CAREFUL…We are making accusations against someone created in the image of God.
  • Remember, we are not God.  We do not know someone’s heart, mind, or motives
OUR RESPONSE (NOT ONE OF MURDER, BUT RECONCILIATION)
  • Instead of being mad and angry
  • Go and Reconcile
  • YOU GO…and MAKE RIGHT
4 G’s – The Peace Maker – Ken Sande
  • Glorify God – Everything we do as Christians should be for God’s glory.  Without this motivation, our efforts at reconciliation will not be effective. 1 Cor. 10:13
  • Get the log out of your eye – We must deal with our own heart before confronting someone else about their sin.  If we skip this we will only attack one another. Matt. 7:5
  • Gently restore – Peacemaking is about restoring the relationship and not pursuing human, sinful justice.  This requires patience because people do not see their faults immediately. Gal. 6:1
  • Go and be reconciled – We forgive those who wronged us and commit ourselves to restore the damaged relationship. Matt. 5:24
OUR INNOCENCE
  • We will stand in judgement then, based on how we live NOW.
  • We know murder is wrong and must be punished
  • Jesus says that within the heart…which leads to murder IS ALSO WRONG.

FCA 2020 Virtual Banquet


I have been involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes for many years and I have experienced first hand the difference it can make in the hearts and lives of athletes and coaches.
I am sharing this year’s Virtual Banquet because I want you to learn more about what is taking place with FCA in West Central Florida. I promise you will be greatly blessed and encouraged to learn all that is happening for the Lord and His Glory through this ministry.
For those of you from the Heartland area, you need to know about the FCA ministry we are developing specifically here in Highlands County and the cities of Avon Park, Lake Placid, and Sebring. Our desire is to see these communities transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes. We will accomplish this as we strive to lead every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church…AND WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Here are 3 ways that you may get involved

You can PRAY

You can GIVE

You can VOLUNTEER.

Go to https://www.westcentralfloridafca.org/ to learn more this ministry and how you can take part.


Please do not hesitate to contact me personally if you need more information about how you can serve and support THIS GREAT MINISTRY. (Even if you are not in the West Central Florida area I can put you in contact with someone serving with FCA in your vicinity)