Sunday School: 10:00 am
Morning Worship: 11:00 am
Evening Service: 6:00 pm
Kids 4 Truth: 6:45 pm
(during school year)
Prayer Meeting: 7:00 pm
Nursery available at all services.
Ferndale Baptist Church
2154 North Center Street, Suite D-403
Phone: 843-744-3307Fax: 843-737-4861
This final verse in this paragraph presents the 4th illustration Jesus uses to drive home the point about the matter of control. What we focus upon determines whether or not we are seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
No man can serve two masters and no man is without one. This illustration of slavery drives home the issue of control and explains why we live the way we do! We have a choice between two masters: a citizen of God's kingdom cannot have mixed loyalties: his devotion cannot be divided. In this passage, our Lord Jesus highlights the truth that there is an exclusiveness of devotion displayed to whomever or whatever masters us. He calls for each citizen of His kingdom to be exclusively devoted to Him. Only then will we Treasure true Treasures--as God defines it.
Matt. 6:21-23 delivers the 1st of 2 illustrations that drive home the point being made in v. 21 - what we focus upon and value most has controlling power. Your interests always follow your investments.
Here our Lord challenges us with a good reason why we should not live as if this world is all that exists and all that really matters.
This sermon is part 3 of 4 from Matthew 6:19-24 - Treasuring True Treasures.
This message deals with the first of two issues Jesus presents as to why we should not live as if this world is all that really exists and all that really matters.
Because this passage presents to us a series of twos, that means there are choices we have to make; two options are being presented; two ways of thinking; two ways of living.
If we have the wrong values (living as if this world is all that exists and all that really matters), we will embrace the wrong priorities which will prompt us to wrongly evaluate the options before us. Hence we will make the wrong decisions which will be evidenced by the wrong conduct. That pattern always holds true!
If we have the right values (Cf. Matt. 6:33), then we will embrace the right priorities, which will prompt us to accurately and correctly evaluate our options before us. That in turn will help us make the right decisions which will be evidenced in the right conduct. That pattern always holds true!
This message is the 2nd of 3 in helping genuine citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven to Treasure True Treasures while they are living on earth.
In our series on the assurance of our salvation, we are studying the five objective bases for the believer's eternal security. The first was the authority of the Father, the second was the accomplishments of the Son, the third is the application of the Holy Spirit.
As we consider this basis, we have noted there are five main functions of the Holy Spirit in regard to the assurance of our salvation as He applies the finished work of Christ to our hearts. This message covers the 4th & 5th functions.
In Matthew 6, Jesus is preaching on the theme of the right kind of focus that leads to the right kind of living that is to be characteristic of the one who has been granted citizenship in God's kingdom. That focus will be broadly expressed in two ways--one's religious life and one's daily life. He deals with religious life in vv. 1-18 and with daily life in vv. 19-34. There are two ways to live each day--making material things the great priority in life or making spiritual things the great priority in life.
In our passage today, our Lord answers the question, "Why should I place greater value on spiritual things? Why should I treasure them above all else? Find out the two main reasons why we should and what the significance of each issue is for us in daily living.
When it comes to living on earth as a citizen of God's Kingdom, we must be on guard against treasuring the wrong treasures. Here's what we must know and do.
Matthew 6:33 is the basis for this year's ministry theme. In tonight's message, we praise God for this past year and are challenged with the exercise of faith in the new year!
Our annual ministry theme for 2016 comes from today's sermon text--Matthew 6:33. Peel back the layers of the onion to discover how to apply this verse!
Have you embraced God's value system? Are you expressing His priorities? Do you put first things first in daily living? Matthew 6:33 challenges us to make God's kingdom first in time and first in rank or priority. Many are living today as if this world is all that exists and all that really matters. However, for those who have been granted citizenship in the kingdom of Heaven, there is a better way to live. Listen to find out how God wants you to live!
This is the 2nd of a 2 part look at Rev. 21:5. Here we find a wonderful invitation God offers you!
Revelation 21:5 presents God's Plan and God's Invitation. This first message looks at God's Plan. Great heart warming truths await you!
Take a brief look at this traveling companion of Paul whose life and ministry shone brightly for Christ and whose life was used of God to shine the spotlight upon God’s Word so that others would be challenged to personally embrace its truth and express their confidence in it. There are important lessons we must learn and practice if we too are to be like Luke and live as A Shining Light while engaged in the work of ministry.
As the Apostle Paul trained Titus to serve Christ, so he took that training and with the abilities God had given him, helped others to serve Christ as well. Let’s look at Titus to learn important lessons from him so that we can engage in Nursing Souls to Spiritual Health as he did. God used Titus in ministry; He can use you as well because you have the same God He served!
Many despise and get weary of "drama" whether at home, work, or church. Learn from Silas how to handle these difficult times. This message is part 2 of 2 in the study of Silas and is part of the series, "Workers in Ministry: Paul's Traveling Companions."
How does the Holy Spirit's role in the matter of our salvation becomes an objective ground for our assurance of eternal security? Find out how in this first of two sermons on this topic.
This message is #8 in the series: "Assurance of Salvation: Burning Away the Fog of Fear and Doubt."
Nobody really likes to deal with "drama" whether it is in the workplace, the church or at home. Sometimes we create more trouble for ourselves than is necessary; sometimes we have to deal with problems that seem to have no easy solution. More challenging still are those times of difficulty in which wehave to deal with circumstances not of our won choosing but which nonetheless are opportunities for us to enjoy the power of God as we work through them or in spite of them.
Silas chose to endure a lot of "drama" as he encountered trouble in local church ministry and from persecutors. From his life we are challenged to develop his mindset and be Undeterred by Trouble as we serve God.
This message is part 1 of 2.
Ministry is always the outgrowth of your own walk with God. From the overflow of your own personal enjoyment of God, you can offer the encouragement and exhortation others need to develop their walk with God or get saved and begin a new walk with God.
From the study of this traveling companion of the Apostle Paul comes challenging truth that is designed to spur us towards a closer walk with God and to serve Him as He deserves.
Ever feel like quitting on God and His Church? You can identify with John Mark whose heart God changed and used to write the second gospel in the NT. God wonderfully worked in his life and changed his heart: He can do the same for you.
Mark challenges us with this message from his life: fully surrender your life to Christ and find a place of service advancing His gospel. God taught him to develop the heart of a servant and to live for Christ's advantage instead of his own. God moved upon Mark's heart to record the following powerful words of Jesus with which he could identify as he reflected upon the way he had grown up in a wealthy home that had servants attending upon his every need and the servant's heart he had learned to develop: "For even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).
In today's text the Apostle Paul indicates a four-fold purpose in dispatching Tychicus to Colossae. From his life and ministry, we can learn important lessons for us to apply as we engage in the work of ministry.
Tychicus' faithful service to the Lord, to the churches, and to the Apostle Paul is evident in the various NT passages in which he is mentioned and it took a variety of forms as described in those passages. So that we might have the kind of eternal impact he had, we need to have the same mindset he did.
As you serve the Lord, do you have the mindset of a modern day Tychicus?
This message is part 2 of 3 that looks at this traveling companion of the Apostle Paul.
2 Peter 3:9 is a very well-known verse that is often taken out of its context to argue theological issues that are not being addressed. When interpreting any verse, we must always do so in the light of its context. It has to mean only what the Holy Spirit intended it to mean when He first authored it! Truth cannot mean today what it did not mean when originally given. Truth is timeless because God is!
As we approach this text we must give special attention to its context. And in it we will find that rather than teaching something about the extent or design of Christ's atonement or a proposed distinction between God's desire and His decree when it comes to saving sinners, 2 Peter 3:9 delivers a wonderful promise that guarantees our salvation on the authority of God's character (His nature) and His Word! God never overpromises and underdelivers!
As our pastor points out, the real issue in this often quoted verse is the absolute assurance believers have that they will never perish in God's judgment. They are secure in Christ! God has given us His word on that!
In keeping with our annual theme of "The Work of Ministry," we begin another series of messages from God's Word that look at first century workers in ministry--The Traveling Companions of the Apostle Paul.
Though many of these individuals are unfamiliar to us, yet the Holy Spirit saw fit to include their names on the pages of Scripture and they provide us with important insights into these faithful companions and fellow laborers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The first person we look at is Tychicus. Though unfamiliar to many 21st century Christians, he was well known to the 1st century Christian community. His life provides key lessons about ministry.
This message is part 1 in a three part series focusing on the life of Tychicus.
As we have been considering God the Father's authority in the matter of the assurance of our salvation, we have noted two key truths so far about God that ought to generate great confidence and joy as to how we stand before God: 1) The unchangeable degree of God's choice, and 2) The irreversibility of God's gifts.
In tonight's message, here's a third truth about God that should contribute to our sense of security when considering the assurance of our salvation.
Philemon was a human being no different from any of us. Can you imagine what it must have been like the day when his runaway slave Onesimus returned home and showed up on his doorstep? God's grace would have been required to live contrary to what his feelings craved, his mind thought, what the natural heart's default response would have been.
There is a human element here that should not be overlooked! Implied by the repeated references as to how Onesimus was to be recevied by Philemon leads us to consider the fourth and fifth evidences Philemon gave of the transforming and triumphant grace of God at work in his life. They are the same evidences that are to be found in our lives!
In the previous messages we learned that one way in which God the Father exercises His authority in the matter of the assurance of our salvation is in the unchangeable decree of God's choice. We are the recipients of His grace!
In this message we see a second way in which God the Father exercises His authority and which becomes a great cause for rejoicing and blessed assurance in the eternal salvation we have in Christ--the irreversibility of God's gifts.
This Sunday morning's message reveals three ways in which Philemon gave evidence of the transforming and triumphant grace of God at work in his life. It challenges us to look at our own lives to see if those same evidences appear.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a pattern for all believers to follow. Specifically, there is one beautiful component of that Gospel of Free Grace that Paul illustrates as he pleads with Philemon to accept Onesimus, his runaway but now born-again slave--the truth of imputation/counter-imputation. Living in this manner can only be attributed to the transforming and triumphant grace of God at work in the life of a believer. Is your life a portrait of this same grace as you deal with others--especially those who have wronged or offended you?
This message is part 4 in this series and the third message examining how the life of the Apostle Paul illustrated God's transforming and triumphant grace was at work in his life and is to be in ours as well.
Paul had given to his close friend Titus, the task of preaching to a church that was located on the island of Crete. One of the assignments given to Titus was to preach sound doctrine--the body of truth that defines the true gospel, the central themes of which are God, grace, godliness and Glory. And Paul presents those themes in each chapter of this short epistle!
The progression of the Gospel always follows this pattern--God, grace, godliness, Glory! "The faith of God's elect" (1:1) rests securely in God's unfailing and eternal purpose. God's elect trust in the Gospel and there is a definitive response to it--"they acknowledge the truth according to godliness!"
Find great encouragement and comfort in what God's Word has to say about "the faith of God's elect" (Titus 1:1): it's the only saving faith in the world; anything else brings the soul to Hell!
This message is the fourth in the series on Assurance of Salvation: Burning Away the Fog of Fear and Doubt.
The apostle Paul had a love for the souls of men and sought to win them to Christ. God's grace had transformed him so that he looked at people differently than what he had before!
When it comes to personal evangelism, there will be those who are quick to retreat behind the excuse -- that’s
not my cup of tea.”; “I could never do that.”; “I’m not good at that; I’ll leave that for others who are better at it or better equipped for it.”
All those who make such statements or similar ones, do so because they confess they do not know the reality of God’s transforming and triumphant grace to change them so that they obediently carry out the Lord’s command
to share the gospel to all who would listen.
One of the exciting privileges of the Christian life is to see God’s Spirit at work inside the heart/life of a totally surrendered individual. It is because we have such a poor concept of God, an unbiblical view of Him and the way He operates, that we wrongly conclude and believe the lie, “God could never use me.”
We can know, experience, and enjoy the same grace of God at work in our lives that was at work in the Apostle Paul’s life--to be useable and useful in His hands to impact other souls for Christ. Why is that so? Because we serve the same God he did!! What we need to do is fully and unconditionally surrender our hearts, our lives, our all to Christ! For in reality, evangelism is simply a matter of submission to the kingship of Christ and obedience to the divine command to proclaim Christ's gospel.
Here is part 3 of the sermon series from Philemon - Portraits of God's Transforming and Triumphant Grace.
Can comfort and encouragement be found in the doctrine of election that helps us with the matter of an assurance of our salvation? The answer is yes! The Bible reveals that the unchangeable decree of God's choice is indeed solid ground upon which to stand: it is a ground of comfort and assurance but never a playground for speculation for either sinner or saint.
Election is one of the great spiritual blessings God has revealed to us through the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1. Unfortunately, and tragically, many have turned this blessed truth into a matter of controversy: they have taken a truth God intended to be a blessing and twisted it into a cause for fear, worry, a matter to be rejected or disbelieved, or worse, as an excuse to sin and as a cover for living a self-focused, worldly lifestyle.
A basic misunderstanding of God's sovereign will in the matter of our salvation is one reason why so many get hung up on this doctrine of election and reject it or abuse it. As noted in this exposition of Ephesians 1:3-6, "the good pleasure of [God's] will" is not a cold, arbitrary, heartless exercise whereby God played a heavenly game of "eeny, meeney, miney, mo" as He capriciously scanned humanity throughout the course of time. Two key factors in this passage give credible witness to the fact that God's choice is anything but cold, heartless, and arbitrary.
Listen to this message and receive the blessing God intended as we contemplate the richness of God's grace that has been lavished upon every genuine child of God.
This message is part 2 in God the Father's role in our salvation.
Some bring great discouragement to themselves because they look at their physical limitations or restrictive circumstances and wrongly conclude God can't use them or is done with them. That's not how Paul the aged thought! Neither should we!!
Paul saw every circumstance as an opportunity to serve Christ. That's the important lesson we need to learn from this snapshot of Paul's life as a prisoner of Jesus Christ. The result of that mindset was that a runaway slave, Onesimus, came to see him one day and Paul led him to Christ.
We need to adopt Paul's mindset and realize that God is not limited to use only those who are of a certain age or who have freedom of mobility to go and do as they please. In fact, the grace of God that is needed to accept daily circumstances as dispensed by the hand of a sovereign Lord in order that we may use every circumstance for the honor and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, is transforming and triumphant grace indeed! So let it change you and know the blessing of being useful and usable to God to impact the lives of others who come to see you or to whom you can minister.
One of the ways we can have an assurance of salvation is to see what God’s Word teaches about the basis for that
assurance: there are five of them in Scripture. They are all objective which means they are outside of ourselves. They are fixed, final, and certain; you can stake the eternal destiny of your soul upon them.
One important thing to remember is that no man can give any man an assurance of salvation: it is the work of the Holy Spirit as He opens our eyes to see His truth, embrace it, and express our confidence in it.
The Triune God is involved in each aspect of our salvation. So it should not surprise us then that the first objective basis for an assurance of salvation lies in what God the Father has declared and has done for us. Our security rests on the basis of the Father's authority. As we consider God the Father's role in saving a people in Christ, there are three truths that we must see and which have direct bearing upon our assurance of salvation. The first of these is the unchangeable decree of God's choice.
Unlike theologians and serious students of God's Word, the Bible never speaks of God's election of sinners to salvation as a matter of controversy and it never sets God's choice in opposition to man's will. The Bible always makes it a matter for confidence and consequent duty. It is presented as the cause and the foundation of every spiritual blessing!
This message is part one in presenting the Father's role as the basis for an assurance of salvation.
This message is an introductory message to the book of Philemon and begins looking at the first of four portraits of transforming and triumphant grace.
How do you know if you are really saved? Many struggle with this issue and will find help here in this series of messages. Others claim to be saved but their life contradicts their claim. They have no biblical warrant for their claim in spite of the fact they "prayed a prayer when they were young." There is warning from God for those in that condition as well.
In this first message in the series, an overview of the topic of one's assurance of salvation is given; the sermon outline that is attached gives the roadmap to be followed. The good news is that you can settle the doubts regarding the matter of your soul's eternal destiny. You will never find assurance of salvation by looking inwardly or by looking to your past: far too many look to those for a feeling of security. Instead, there's an objective basis for your hope and evidences that God's Word gives that indicate whether a person has genuine saving faith or not.
Habakkuk was having a very difficult time reconciling the difficult circumstances of life with the character of God. He couldn’t understand why things were happening as they were. Ever been in that predicament?
God reminded the prophet Habakkuk that He is still on the throne and His ways are difficult for a finite mind to figure out. However in spite of it all, He tells Habakkuk don’t worry or be governed by fear or by perplexity because “the just shall live by his faith” (2:4). Saving Faith rests in the certainty that God always works in harmony with His righteous character and it perseveres through difficult circumstances.
One scholar made the following observation, "The lesson of faith he [Habakkuk] learned in chapter two resolved the problem for his faith in chapter one and led to the peace of faith in chapter three." Once we accept and learn that God is indeed sovereign, good and wise in all that He does, we also will see our perspective of life’s difficult circumstances change--from perplexity to peace; from fear to faith; from complaint to confidence in God--just like Habakkuk did.
From today's text, here are two important lessons we must embrace and express as they reveal The Role of Faith in Life.
How confident can a Christian be of God's personal guidance of his life? Does God have a personal will for your life? Here's encouraging truth from God's Word!
Though the immediate threat to the Colossian church was false teaching attractively packaged in philosophical terms for these saints, there was also another danger--what Bishop H.C.G. Moule termed “an unapplied orthodoxy”. We face the same danger today in America - an unapplied orthodoxy; a misunderstanding of the person of Christ. Today far too many live the Christian life apart from the implications of the gospel of Christ: theirs is a life lived according to the standard of one’s own opinions, feelings or whatever the latest fad or trend may be.
The proof of that is clearly seen in the emptiness, the frustration, the carnality, the lack of genuine joy and rejoicing in the Lord that is so evident in so many Christians’ lives! It is not enough to have minds full of biblical information; it's not enough to quote proof texts for doctrinal positions that are held! We need more than mere theory or opinionated thinking if we are to live for Christ. We need to return to living life according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The truth of the gospel must get into our souls & saturate our thinking so that we walk in the light of the glorious truths concerning the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Gospel is our pattern for living as Christians. It is also the pattern for every other kind of rescue our Savior does for believers. Are you dealing with the same threats that faced the Colossian church--an unapplied orthodoxy? errorneous views or a misunderstanding of the person of Christ?
In the context of Colossians 2:6 lie great doctrinal truths about the person of Christ that lay the foundation for proper Christian living. The verse begins with a point of comparison: as you have received [once for all] the Christ [Who is], Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him. In other words, the Apostle Paul is declaring we are to live the Christian life the same way we received it.
How is that done? This exposition of Colossians 2:6 shows you how.
Christ often used parables to illustrate truth. From the common, physical activity of walking, here are three critical components of our spiritual walk before God. They are characteristics that assure a believer of an abundance of happiness, that bring great blessing. So what does it mean to walk in God's ways?
From Psalm 128, you will find the Characteristics of a Blessed Walk.
Why don't decisions we make for the Lord stick? Here's further help to ensure summer camp decisions (or decisions made at other church services) don't remain as "camp decisions."
This sermon delivered by our pastor is part 2 of a 2 part series from Romans 6:17.
Ever been puzzled as to why decisions made at a Christian camp, Revival meeting or church service don't stick? Here's help and hope from God's Word!
This message was delivered to the congregation by our pastor after spending a week at The Wilds Christian Camp with young people. It is a follow-up message to encourage not only our young people who made decisions for the Lord but also to our church family to challenge them in areas of needed change for God's glory.
This message is part 1 of 2 from this text - Romans 6:17.
In his speech to the Continental Congress on April 30, 1789, the first elected president of the fledgling United States of America made it abundantly clear that this new nation under God owed its creation to the "Great Author of every public and private good." He further counseled, "No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States."
As a warning to future generations of Americans, President Washington admonished the same Continental Congress with these words: "..the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained...."
We are quickly arriving at that day of which Washington gave stern warning. The latest evidence of this fact was seen on June 26, 2015, in which another blast of dynamite to our national foundation sent shockwaves throughout the land with Friday’s SCOTUS ruling that redefined marriage for all fifty states. The constitution was reinterpreted to mean that our founding fathers who authored it intended that there be a requirement that same-sex marriages be officially recognized as a fundamental right and so consequently should be licensed by all fifty states.
As we celebrate our nation’s 239th birthday and find ourselves witnessing the continual assault on the biblical values this nation was founded and built upon, it is good for us to ask this question that our text presents: “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
So are we in America to arrive at the same conclusion David's friends did? What are we to do as we live life in America as believers in a post-Christian era, a time when the foundations are being destroyed?
Listen to find out the answer to this thought provoking question from God's Word!
This message is part 2 of our pastor's message "Overcoming the Overwhelming."
Ever feel overwhelmed by shocking or traumatic news or by just the daily pressures, burdens, and strain of life? Though we can't often control the overwhelming circumstances we face, nonetheless, there is something we can choose and can control--how we respond to the circumstances we encounter. We can choose to be either a victim or a victor. We can choose to either have a pity party or know the undergirding of God's sufficient grace and peace in the midst of our storms. By God's grace, we can choose to overcome the overwhelming.
It has been said that people fall into one of three categories: 1) Those who are going through a difficult, stormy time of life, 2) Those who just went through a difficult, stormy time of life, 3) Those who are about to go through a difficult, stormy time of life. Regardless of which category you presently find yourself, here is hope and help from God's Word!
This message was delivered by our pastor the same weekend many of the memorial services were being held for some of the nine individuals who were killed at the Emmanuel AME church in downtown Charleston. It is the first of two messages from Isaiah 26:3-4 in which our pastor gives direction in Overcoming the Overwhelming.
This message is the second part of the message begun in the morning service and delivered to the congregation on Father's Day.
No man will ever be a better father than he is a good husband. To say it another way, being the right kind of father can't be divorced from being the right kind of husband.
Whether you are a husband, a father, or would-be father, or whether you are a young man aspiring to be a husband and father, the Bible gives you vital instruction so you can impact future generations for Christ. For every young lady, it is imperative that you pray for a future husband that lives out the instructions the Apostle Peter gives in our text.
So regardless of your station in life, this text of Scripture provides vital instruction we need today as we celebrate and honor our Dads on Father's Day.
In this afternoon's service held at another church so that we could use their baptistery, our pastor delivered part two of "Obtaining the Faith of Abraham." In this study of the life of Abraham in the book of Genesis, we discover that Abraham had a number of tests, challenges to his faith. The cumulative effect was that because his faith was exercised, it was strengthened and refined. His strong faith put the spotlight on God's character and His promises and thus gave Him great glory.
In this message there are seven tests of faith that Abraham encountered. There are important lessons to be learned and similarities for us to see if we are to be strong in faith, giving glory to God.
Because of the setup, you will need to turn the volume up to hear this recording.
George Mueller once declared, "Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man's power ends." That statement is an apt description and summary of the life of Abraham, the patriarch of Israel, especially as it concerns the promise of an heir when both he and his wife were well past child bearing years.
Romans 4 highlights an episode in Abraham's life that could also be well summarized by the acronym of "FAITH:"
F - Forgetting
A - all
I - impossiblities,
T - trust
H - Him
How does a 21st century AD believer express the same kind of strong faith that 20th century BC Abraham had and which gives God great glory and honor? In this morning's message, our pastor shows us how from today's text.
James 4:7 tells us that if we submit ourselves to God, resist the devil, he would flee from us. That’s God’s promise to claim! It’s just as real and certain as the promise of John 3:16, Romans 10:13 or any other promise in Scripture!
The word “resist” in James 4:7 means “to take a stand against.” Four times in Ephesians 6:10-18, God tells us to stand. So the question is, how does one stand successfully against Satan?
In this first of two messages from Ephesians 6:10-18, we look at a very familiar & perhaps the most important passage of Scripture that instructs us “How to Stand Against Satan.” This message reveals two important things each believer must do to successfully stand against sin, self, and Satan. Part two of this study will show us the third way to do so.
A 20th century British Statesman, John Morley, once declared, No man can climb beyond the limitations of his own character. While God uses situations and people to develop & shape our character, it is also true that character is revealed in times of pressure and testing. If we would rise above the limitations of our own character, we must change.
In this final biographical study of Nehemiah, we discover three more character qualities that are not often seen today--diligence, discernment, determination and courage. This message reveals how Nehemiah expressed them and how we should as well.
There is world of difference between learning how to make a living and learning how to live. How can one be assured of making the right choices in life so that he displays wisdom? How does one become truly wise?
Our text of Scripture reveals two vital ways we show we have accepted the invitation to be wise. This message was delivered to our church family on Graduate's Day--a day to honor our high school and college graduates.
Whether you are a young lady hoping to get married one day or are presently married, here is truth for you: you will only be as good a mother as you are a good wife. There are three qualities that must be on display in your life if you are to be both a godly wife and a godly mother.
This message is part 2 of 2 from 1 Peter 3:1-6. In it you will discover the second and third qualities the Apostle Peter presents for each lady.
Whether you are a lady looking one day to be a mother or presently are one, one question to be asked is this: “How can you be assured of being the best mother?” No other person has as much power at her hands to influence the next and succeeding generations as does a mother!
In our text today there are three essential qualities found in every godly lady who is also a mother. In this first message our pastor delivers the first of these. In part 2, the other two qualities are presented. To be a godly mother--one that God Himself would praise, these three qualities must be developed and displayed.
What is the biblical model for leadership? What is God's standard of greatness?
In part three of "Remember Nehemiah," learn a fifth characteristic about this great man that should be a part of each Christian's life. It's not a characteristic that people typically get excited about and when they hear it, their first reaction is to shun it and say "No, thank you; not interested."
But if we would be truly great in God's eyes, if we would be the kind of person that has God's stamp of approval on it, then we must develop this character trait--especially if we hold any kind of leadership position at all. This same characteristic is vital for parents to instill in the hearts of their children during their early years if they are to be godly in their later years.
Experience has shown that those who learn this important trait while young, more often than not, are living for God when they grow up. Those who did not learn this vital truth, more often than not, are not living for God later on in life.
What is this vital characteristic? Listen to today's message from our pastor to find out!
In Part 1, we looked at two important characteristics Nehemiah expressed that we need to express as well. We need the kind of character he expressed in his book. In part 2, we discover two other important characteristics about this man that must be in our lives as believers.
One of these characteristics is that Nehemiah sought to glorify God in all he did. Ever stop to consider what it means to glorify God? There are 4 important components. Find out how we can express the same characteristics Nehemiah did in this message our pastor delivered this morning.
Ever wonder what kind of servant will God use? What kind of servant is God looking for in order to bless as he serves? God's Word reveals key truth we need to learn about Nehemiah's life.
Although the aim of these series of studies on the life of Nehemiah is not to elevate him on a pedestal to admire, nevertheless, we do want to look at his life to learn from him, to develop the character he had--a man on which God placed His stamp of approval as he served Him.
After completing a verse-by-verse study of Nehemiah, our pastor concludes this series with two surveys - a look at Nehemiah the man and then a look at the God he served. This message is part 1 in Remember Nehemiah.
The matter of intermarriage with those outside of the Jewish covenant community is the 4th area of Spiritual decline that Nehemiah had to confront. Find out what God thought about this and what He expects of us today.
Is there really life after death or do we just hope there is or is not?
What is there is no resurrection of the body?
What if what we believe in is just a religion, no different than any other?
These are other questions like them have answers in God's Word. In 1 Corinthians 15:12-20, there are six big consequences if Christ's resurrection really did not happen. But if He did rise again as He said He would, then there are many more positive consequences!
What is The Significance of the Resurrection? Listen to this Easter message to find out.
About nothing else were the disciples so slow to accept and Christ's enemies so quick to deny, than the fact of Christ's resurrection. It was not an event witnessed by men who were in the frame of mind to believe and receive it. They certainly made no attempt to fight or run off the soldiers who guarded the tomb in order to extract the body of Christ and then claim He had been resurrected from the tomb.
The Lord Jesus Christ is alive and stands in a class all by Himself when it comes to religious leaders. He alone is uniquely qualified to be man's substitute in life - earning a righteousness man desperately needs and the only kind a holy God will accept as a basis for entrance into Heaven - and uniquely qualified to be man's substitute in death--paying in full the penalty of man's sin that is required because God's law had been broken.
Because He is alive and the only One to conquer death, He can legitimately offer life - eternal life - to all who would receive it. The resurrection of Christ proves there is life after death. Ever give any thought as to where you will spend eternity? Here is some good news for you to receive!
What was the significance of Christ's entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday? Find the answer here in this message from Matthew 21 that our pastor dellivered to the congregation on Palm Sunday morning.
Ever wonder why Christ had to be dead for 3 days and 3 nights? If Jesus died on Friday and was resurrected on Sunday, how then could He have been dead for 3 nights? If He didn't die on Friday, then on what day did Jesus die?
Answers to these questions can be found in tonight's message delivered on Palm Sunday to our church congregation.
Spiritual decline is evident when we treat the Lord's Day as if it were just another day of the week. The parallels between the Jews in the 5th Century BC & God's people in today's 21st century are striking!
The Jews of Nehemiah's day saw the matter of observing the Sabbath to be of no real consequence or importance. They were content to continue living as they had during the entire time of Nehemiah's absence: they had become accustomed to ignoring God's laws regarding the Sabbath. For many today, Sunday has become "FUN-day" and the pursuit of personal matters have become uppermost in our thinking. There seems to be no conscious effort to set aside the Lord's Day as being distinct or different from any other day, other than just going to church for an hour or two. But the whole day is the Lord's Day, not just a couple of hours of it!
So what concrete steps can you take to sanctify the entire Lord's Day rather than just a couple of hours of it? Is the way you treat the Lord's Day an evidence of spiritual decline in your life?
In this second instance of spiritual decline, Nehemiah's example in dealing with it is most instructive: he is a pattern for us to follow. In these short five verses, our pastor points out three main truths that yield six vital lessons for us to act upon as we deal with spiritual decline--whether it is in our own lives or in the lives of others we know, or in our churches.
This message is the thirty-ninth in the book of Nehemiah and part two in the series "Dealing with Spiritual Decline" from Nehemiah 13.
Compromise and spiritual decline are evident in churches all across this nation as well as in the lives of Christians. How do we deal with it? God shows us how and uses Nehemiah to teach us important lessons regarding it.
This message is part 1 of our pastor's study of Nehemiah 13.
The expression "When the cat's away, the mice will play" is a truism regardless of the culture, the century, or the class of people involved. It aptly summarizes what has happened in Nehemiah 13.
After serving as governor for twelve years in Jerusalem, Nehemiah returns to the palace in Persia to resume his position as cupbearer to King Artaxerxes--just as he had promised (cf. 2:6). During Nehemiah's absence, things fell apart spiritually in Jerusalem. The leaders and the people did not keep the promises they had made in chapter 10. Things had become a real mess. Compromise, defilement and disobedience to God's law was rampant.
What happened while Nehemiah was gone to cause such a mess? Why does this book end the way that it does on seemingly such a low, anti-climactic note? Why not end on a positive, high note as the end of chapter 12 portrays?
The answer is found in two reasons that yield important truths for us to profit from and use. They will encourage and instruct you.
Nehemiah 12 presents three things that are to be dedicated to the Lord and three truths we must embrace and express. In this message, our pastor challenges us with vital truth to make each day another Dedication Day for God's glory and honor.
With this message our pastor concludes a look at the doctrine of Adoption--a most blessed privilege for every born-again child of God!
Tonight's text in Romans 8 highlights an aspect of our adoption as believers that brings great blessing. We will also look at other passages that show the blessedness of being made a son of God. Even though the word "adoption" does not occur in these texts, yet the concept is quite evident; it brings great encouragement and blessing!
Nehemiah 11 is one of those Bible lists that are presented to us that at first glance doesn’t appear to provide much of any practical or personal benefit. We may wonder why it is even included as part of this book! Yet we know, that there is a purpose behind it as 2 Timothy 3:16 assures us that all Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable….
We can grasp its benefit and its teaching by getting an overview of this chapter, by seeing its connection to the other chapters of the book and then its consequent significance. At the end of this message, we can draw two very practical, personal applications of its message for us today and a challenge to become Enlisted for God's Service.
What is the key to seeing lasting fruit after a Revival meeting? What does it mean to "behold the glory of the Lord?" It's also the key to understanding how we are to change into Christ-likeness.
This message is part 2 in the series that our pastor delivered as a follow-up to the previous week's Revival meetings.
After Revival services are over, what's next? Our hearts may be stirred to make a decision to change during an invitation, but if we only acknowledge a need to change or make a decision to change w/o taking any further steps to see that change take place, we rob ourselves of the blessing of change.
Christ-likeness is not achieved by depending upon a list of “do’s” and “don’ts”; though obviously that will be needed! Christian growth is not measured by how many facts we have gained over the years from sermons, SS lessons or personal study of the Bible; it’s measured by how closely we match the character of Christ while we live at home, at work, etc.
Our text is one of many that presents to us the dynamics of biblical change--how it occurs; it explains how we progress in Christ-likeness. It affords for us great hope and a clearly marked out pathway for meaningful & substantial change in Christ-likeness.
Each of us must understand and practice the truth of this text if we are to grasp what Biblical change really involves and so that there is lasting fruit after Revival services are over.
One of the reasons we need to have revival is summed up by General William Booth, the founder of The Salvation Army: "Look well to the fire of your soul, for it is the tendency of fire to go out." Someone else once remarked: "Painted fire never warmed anyone."
We must do what is necessary to fan the fires of devotion to God in our hearts; we must constantly supply the fuel that is needed. We must avoid those things that would quench that flame or threaten to steal away our exclusive love for Christ.
When one understands the historical context of this very famous verse in 2 Chronicles 7, the promise of God's intervention into the lives of His people becomes a powerful reminder of the truthfulness of His claims. In this second of a two part series on "Requirements for Revival," our pastor expounds upon the three remaining requirements God has set as conditions for His blessing and then the promise of God's blessing that would surely follow.
May we indeed know the blessing of Heaven sent Revival!
Leonard Ravenhill once remarked, "As long as we are content to live without revival, we will." That comment ought to jolt any spiritually minded believer! The reason why it should is that it causes us to face what really is a basic choice for each of us: 1) Are we content to live the way we think best and then fit God into our busy schedules as we have time and occasion to do so? or 2) Do we hunger and thirst for God's power, a sense of His presence, His blessing, a passion to live life in His presence and then fit everything else in as we have time and occasion to do?
G. Campbell Morgan declared, "We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven." And that’s what we need to do! We need to do what we can to prepare ourselves to hear from Heaven and "catch the wind from Heaven" so that we are propelled forward to love and serve God as we ought!
As we look to God for revival, this morning's text indicates to us four ways we can prepare ourselves to receive this blessing of God. In this message, our pastor presents the first of four "Requirements for Revival" in this two part series from 2 Chronicles 7:14. He also points out the potency of this promise of God to bless -- especially in the light of the historical context in which this passage is found.
Nehemiah and those who were with him that signed their covenant in ch. 10, were doing so not as the climactic end of a spiritual high in which God had moved upon their hearts. Rather, it was a resolution for a new beginning. The signing would not change their current circumstances; it just motivated them to live differently in spite of them. The adversity they would face would test their willingness to sacrifice & maintain their resolve to keep the terms of that covenant. The success of their commitment would depend upon how reliant they would be upon the Lord and His strength to carry out the terms of their declaration.
Likewise, in our modern day, there are vital lessons from this passage we need to learn and there is truth to challenge us as we endeavor to express our commitment to God by expressing a serious support for the House of God.
Are you seriously committed to the House of God where you worship? In today's message you will find the final two ways Nehemiah 10 reveals so you can tell if you really are.
In tonight's message, our pastor reveals the new ministry theme for the year. We take a brief look back to review God's blessings in the previous year; a look at the present to remind us of our mission, purpose & objectives; a look forward to a new ministry theme for 2015 along with goals to stretch & challenge our faith
Neh. 10:30-39 give us a summary of the more significant & specific aspects of the covenant they had made with God. The people showed their commitment to God’s Law by committing themselves to obeying it and to practicing separation.
The final points mentioned in this covenant in vv. 32-39 all relate to supporting the house of God which was vital in maintaining the nation’s worship of God. This message looks a little closer at the second visible evidence of our commitment to God. In verses 30-34, there are two of four ways mentioned as to how we show we are seriously supportive of God's house of worship.
God has given us "this year also" to be fruitful for Him. Here is a practical, New Year challenge from our pastor to help us make 2015 a fruitful year for God.
Our lives are a series of changing times and seasons. Time itself is a succession of changing moments. We don't like change--especially when it affects our comfort zones! Our perspective on change has a lot to do with how we interpret our circumstances.
In this famous passage in Ecclesiastes 3, there are vital life lessons to learn when it comes to finding satisfaction in life--regardless of whether our good times outnumber our bad times or vice versa. One of these is this: If the Infinite is not enough to satisfy you, then nothing finite ever will. In tonight's message to our congregation, our pastor challenges us with this end of the year message from God's Word.
As 2014 draws to a close, look back over this past year. Did you go through any difficult times, any trials that presented a real challenge to your faith? Look at the trials you may be facing right now. In either case, did you experience or are you experiencing an abundant amount of grace and peace as you encountered that trial? Or were you "stressed out" or agitated in mind and heart? Worried sick? Troubled and fearful? All of these and other responses similar to them indicate one is operating with an absence of grace and peace.
In 2 Peter 1:2, the Apostle begins his epistle by declaring that the multiplying of grace and peace in a believer's life only comes one particular way--through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. That means there is something we need to know about God that if we don't bring that knowledge to bear upon the circumstances we face, we won't know the super abundance of grace and peace--especially during trimes of trial and hardships that present challenges to our faith!
Notice how Peter ends his epistle--with a command to grow in grace and in the knowlege of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (3:18). You will never be steadfast in the Faith if you are not growing in grace; unless you are growing in your knowledge of God.
That raises two important questions: 1) How sufficient is that knowledge we are to have about God that equips us? 2) What is it we need to know about our God that provides us with that grace and peace? The answers to these questions can be found in this morning's message delivered to the congregation at Ferndale Baptist.
NOTE: We apologize for some of the audio difficulties in the recording of this message. The volume will need to be turned up high until the 6:40 mark at which point the volume can be turned down to normal levels.
Ever wonder why Jesus *had* to be born of a Virgin? Find three reasons why from God's Word in this Sunday morning Christmas message delivered by our pastor.
How do you express the fact you are committed to God? Nehemiah 10 is most instructive in helping us answer that question. A person who is fully committed to God bears the same evidences as those seen in this chapter. Listen to this exposition of Nehemiah 10:1-29 to see how God wants us to show our sincere commitment to Him.
It's one thing to offer a passionate prayer of confession to the Lord as is seen in Nehemiah 9; quite another to live an obedient life that such a passion should produce after the "Amen" is spoken! Sometime we just need to put "feet to our prayers."
This is what we have in Nehemiah 10: an honest, straightforward commitment to change coupled with specific steps to be accomplished to implement that change! The reading and hearing of God's Word in which evidences of God's greatness, goodness and grace were shown, had a profound impact upon the Jews of Nehemiah's day. They were not interested in sounding pious when they prayed (ch. 9); they wanted to demonstrate piety (ch. 10). They were not interested in just being religious; they wanted to cultivate their relationship with God!
The theme of this chapter is developed through the repetition of key phrases that together provide the visible evidences that these people really meant what they prayed in chapter 9. In essence, the message can be sumarized with this statement: When God's people are serious about their commitment to God, it will be evidenced by their serious obedience to the Law of God and their serious support of the house of God. There is nothing laid back or casual about their commitment!
Are these Evidences of Commitment to God seen in your life as it was in the lives of the Jews back then? In this first message our pastor expounds upon these truths and makes application to our lives. He also challenges us to remember that we don't gain success in our commitment to God as Christians just because we make promises to God, but because we believe the promises of God and act upon them.
Like Israel in Nehemiah's day, is it time for a new beginning in your life?
Ingratitude for God's grace characterized the downward spiral of Israel's spiritual history as summarized in Nehemiah 9. Likewise, thanklessness for God's greatness, goodness and grace continue to plunge the human race into the quagmire of self-deception and sin (Cf. Romans 1:21ff). Don't let it characterize your history when the story of your life is told! Here's how to live a God-focused life that expresses thanksgiving for God's grace.
Living a God-focused life requires us to make three key characteristics of God's character the paradigm that shapes our thinking, our choices and our conduct. Here is the 2nd characteristic we focus upon--God's goodness.
If we are to be God-focused in our living, what does that really mean? Find out in today's message.
NOTE: This sermon was recorded with a hand-held device due to the fact that it was not delivered inside the church's auditorium which had been sold the previous week. You may need to turn the volume up to hear it adequately.
By nature we like to hide. Some have even become masters of disguise. We often find ourselves trying to present an image to hide behind in order to conceal the truth about ourselves to others. But if we are to enjoy the blessings of Spiritual Renewal, if we are to ever experience genuine revival and know the joy and peace of a heart right with God, then there must a getting real with God.
In Nehemiah 8, we learn that revival always begins with a heart-felt response to the content of Scripture. In chapter 9, we will see that revival continues with a real confession of sin. Then in chapter 10, revival is confirmed by the committment of a life of separation unto God from sin. That's how these three chapters relate to each other as they deal with this theme of spiritual renewal.
As we begin looking at chapter 9, we are presented with a Model for Confession of Sin which we are to follow. Listen to today's message delivered by our pastor as he challenges us from God's Word.
Truth that is grasped moves hearts and well as hands! A person's relationship with God becomes apparent by his active response to Him. In Nehemiah 8:13-18, we find important truth in a divinely revealed illustration of how we are to show we have a Biblical understanding of God's Word and how we are to properly respond to His truth.
Understanding God's Word is indispensable to spiritual renewal, a rebuilding of one's life. This goes far beyond an intellectual grasp of facts! The key to a proper understanding of God's Word that leads to spiritual renewal includes three vital components. Find out what they are in this text from Nehemiah 8.
People who are at odds with one another don’t want to be around each other and neither do they find any particular motivation to do anything to remedy the state of hostility or effect a reconciliation. We have a good illustration of that fact in the life of David in 2 Samuel 14. David is at odds with his 3rd oldest son Absalom; there is an estrangement between them--a rift in the relationship.
King David’s general, Joab, confers with a wise woman of Tekoa to go intervene and ask for David to bring back his son Absalom from exile. In today's Scripture text, the words of this wise woman are very significant as they lay down a theological truth that will be explained later in detail in the New Testament.
God has devised means whereby His banished (every sinner) be not expelled from Him (i.e. a permanent estrangement). And the means God has devised has been revealed in the NT: the person & work of Christ is the means whereby every sinner can be reconciled to an offended God and know the joy & peace from being delivered from a permanent expulsion & punishment.
Listen to a very encouraging and faith-building message that helps you enjoy the benefits of the believing sinner's reconcilation with God--one of which is genuine peace!
Genealogies are not typically our first choice for devotional material when reading the Scriptures. In fact, many times we wonder why they are even there and what purpose do they serve. Yet, God's Word assures us that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable...."(2 Timothy 3:16). So that includes genealogies!
When one reads Nehemiah 7 which contains a genealogical registry, he or she might be tempted to just scan through it quickly in an attempt to find something more interesting or captivating. Yet, upon closer examination, there is encouraging truth here for each believer and challenging truth for each one who will take the time to pay attention to what is found here.
Listen to the message and answer the question, "Is Your Name Written There?"
Ever stop to think why the Holy Spirit took the time to mention specific workers in Nehemiah 7 that would be needed for the reorganization of Jerusalem? Why not just say, "Nehemiah selected workers for key positions after the wall was built." God is giving us more than just a history lesson in this chapter! There are important life lessons to be learned as to why the types of workers were selected and what was the message being communicated.
In this message, Choice Workers, our pastor challenges us with great truth from God's Word so we can become the kind of worker God wants us to be--individuals with the same type of qualities as the individuals mentioned in Nehemiah 7:1-2.
Now that the wall around Jerusalem has been completed and the city's defenses secured, Nehemiah turns his attention to other important matters: he begins to organize some elements of the city's life. So he carefully identifies and selects responsible people who discharge the important duties assigned to them. One of these important jobs would be that of a porter, or gate keeper. Their chief job was to provide protection for the city by monitoring those who would enter the city gates. They were responsible for opening and closing the city gates as well.
As John Bunyan portrayed in his masterpiece, The Holy War, believers are engaged in a battle. He spoke about "Mansoul," a city that had five gates. Their names were as follows: the Ear Gate; the Eye Gate, the Nose Gate; the Feel Gate; the Mouth Gate. The enemy of the city is Sin who comes on a daily basis to attack at one of its five gates. The interesting thing about the battle is that the City of Mansoul could never be defeated by outside attacks and Sin could never win in his assaults against the five gates...except in one way: someone on the inside had to open one of the gates and let Sin in.
Bunyan's five gates were not allegorical creations at all: they are for real. Bunyan grasped what the Bible clearly teaches: the soul of man is destroyed from the inside, not the outside. No wonder King Solomon would warn us in Proverbs 4:23, "Keep (Guard) thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." The Apostle Paul would admonish in Romans 6:13 - "Neither yield ye your members (parts of your body) as instruments (weapons) of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."
Every believer is a gate keeper. As Christians we must be vigilant that nothing breaches our spiritual defenses. Even the most mature believer can never afford to let down his guard. Even as Nehemiah needed people whom he could trust to do their job dependably and loyally, so God is looking for the same. In reality, gates are only as good as the character of the guards who monitor them.
In this text of Scripture, our pastor challenges the hearer to carefully, dependably, loyally guard the gates to our hearts and to take our roles as Gate Keepers seriously.
Charles Spurgeon once remarked, "By perseverance the snail reached the ark." Perseverance is the ability to remain persistent in a particular course of action in spite of diffiiculties, obstacles or discouragement. It is just one of the qualities Nehemiah expressed as he pursued the burden God laid on his heart - the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.
In this final section of Nehemiah six, note how God honored Nehemiah's perseverance, his faith in God as he overcame the various schemes of attack against the rebuilding of the walls of Jersusalem that served as fearful distractions. In this message, there is great truth for us to learn and apply so we can persevere through the hardships of life to do the work God has called us to do.
This sermon is part four from Nehemiah 6, Opposition By Fearful Distractions.
In Nehemiah 6, we have been finding that the enemy of our souls, Satan, pulls out all the stops and launches one attack after another upon Nehemiah personally as the wall near its completion. Nehemiah would be able to testify like the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:26 that he is “in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city…in perils among false brethren.” In this chapter Nehemiah will face his most difficult battles because they are primarily battles that will require biblical thinking. It is not our natural response to think biblically during a time in which we receive threatening news that moves us to fear. It is a new way of thinking that is to reflect the reality of the new nature given to us by God when we are born again. Biblical thinking is an intentional choice that must be frequently made each day.
As Nehemiah shows, biblical thinking requires that both our emotions and our wills must be governed by a mind that is saturated by we know to be true about God's character and how He operates. The simple truth of the matter is that we are only as strong as our useable knowledge of Scripture! And Nehemiah's knowledge will be tested in times where he will face fearful distractions in life. So this is the test Nehemiah faced and we do as well: will we meet the challenges to our faith using what we have learned about God and the commands He gives us in His Word or will we rely upon our own understanding and our "gut feelings?"
In this third stage of the attack, we find great spiritual challenge and vital lessons for us to learn so we can succesfully handle Opposition By Fearful Distractions. This sermon by our pastor is part three in this series.
Ever been the victim of false accusations? Ever have people malign your motives while trying to live for God or do work for God? Nehemiah did! In the sixth chapter of the book that bears his name, Nehemiah shows how he handled it. He set a good pattern for us to follow. Listen to part 2 of Opposition By Fearful Distraction.
Zechariah 3 opens with the 4th of 8 visions given to the Prophet Zechariah who ministered to the exilic Jews who had returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. The message God would communicate to His people was to assure the hearts of spiritual people of their worth and value on the basis of God's work for them. The purpose of this vision was to answer the question, What qualifies a person to stand acceptably before God?
There is only one way to obtain a right standing with God: there is only one basis for acceptable service to Him. None can approach God on his own merits; all must come through Christ alone. And all who come are responsible to obey and serve the Lord. Few passages in the Bible supply greater insights into these truths than Zechariah 3 where the believer's standing, responsiblity and hope are set forth in the clearest fashion.
Be encouraged and challenged as you listen to our pastor's Sunday night message "A Picture of Justification."
To this point in our study, we have noted that Satan, the Adversary of God and of God’s people, uses a variety of schemes in his attempts to hinder or bring the work of God to a halt -- whether in a person’s life, family or church. Some of these strategies have been opposition by ridicule, by anger, by discouragement (chapter 4), and by division (chapter 5). Satan’s attacks so far have been directed towards the people externally, internally and circumstantially but now they are directed to Nehemiah personally as God’s leader.
Nehemiah 6 reveals another very effective method the devil still uses today. It is indicated by direct statements that are repeated and then is implied with another statement made in our text today--fear. We easily get distracted when we fear and the work of God comes to a halt while we feel paralyzed at times by our fears--a fear of people--what they think of us, say to us, might do to us; fear of circumstances-- "What happens if_______”; or the fear of being able to discharge the duties we are called upon to perform--“Can I really pull this off? I have never done this before….”, etc. Fear can be a real serious distraction!
If we would successfully complete the work God has given us to do, we must handle fearful distractions the way Nehemiah did. Otherwise we will fall for this trick of the devil and get distracted from doing the job God wants done.
This message is part 1 of "Opposition By Fearful Distractions."
Nehemiah 5 reveals a different strategy Satan uses to hinder the work of God - whether in a person's life, a marriage, a family, or in a church. To this point, the attacks from Satan have been external - from people who were unwittingly being used as his footsoldiers and circumstantial. The Jews were experiencing physical and emotional exhaustion, a preoccupation with problems in the work, and a loss of confidence to do the work.
Now the attack turns internally--among the workers themselves. When ridicule, anger and discouragement won't hinder the work, Satan resorts to another very effective method or strategy ("wiles" - Ephesians 6:10) - Opposition By Division. He gets believers to start attacking one another, dividing them against each other which distracts the whole body from getting the job done for the Lord that needs to be done.
In this message, our pastor challenges us to be alert for this type of attack and to deal with it the way Nehemiah did so that the work of God is not brought to a halt in our own lives or in the local church as well.
There has never been an opportunity for God apart from opposition. Opposition is not necessarily bad if you know how to handle it. Otherwise opposition can produce discouragement.
Discouragement is perhaps one of the most effective strategies the devil has to convince God's people to either give up or shut up so that the work of God comes to a halt. Many Bible characters struggled with discouragement which should encourage us! Even these heroes of the faith showed the maxim to be true: "The best of men are only men at best."
Nehemiah 4 teaches us how to handle discouragement. If you are discouraged as a believer, there is hope and help for you from God's Word. This message delivered by our pastor gives "The ABCs of Discouragement" as a way to remember the teaching of this text without trying to trivialize a very serious problem. By God's grace every believer can be alert to and learn to handle the very effective and powerfully debilitating strategy of the devil--Oppposition By Discouragement.
Behind all opposition to the work of God is the enemy of God--the Devil himself. Anytime Heaven advances, Hell opposes. Anytime you live to see God glorified and His church enhanced, supported, supplied, or defended, you will feel the winds of adversity in some form or another.
Nehemiah never saw the Devil himself; he only saw those who functioned as his pawns/his tools. The Devil is not only the chief enemy of God but also of God’s people. He cannot attack God directly so he attacks Him indirectly, through the lives of His people who are His prized possession.
In Satan’s arsenal lies a multitude of very effective weapons and from his Operations Center comes a number of very effective strategies he uses against those who would live for God and advance the work of God.
As Satan engages the people of God in spiritual warfare, Nehemiah 4 reveals three very successful methods/strategies he uses and has used for generations--Opposition By Ridicule. Through a series of five questions Sanballat and Tobiah hurl at the Jews, we find important parallels that give us insight into this effective tactic Satan uses to intimidate, embarrass, and attempt to bring the work of God to a halt--whether it is building a life for God or a work for God. Then we learn from Nehemiah what is the proper response to Satan's tactic of ridicule.
The work in Nehemiah 3 takes on the look of a construction project and it is here that we find record of the people repairing/rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. This is what Nehemiah has been praying for so long would take place!
This chapter underscores an important theme found in this book: the people of God as a whole and not just the leaders are vital for accomplishing the work of God. In fact what we have in Nehemiah 3 finds its parallel in Ephesians 4:16! So whether you are young or old, skilled or unskilled labor, whether rich or poor, God has a job for you to do in the local church! So let's come to Nehemiah 3 and learn vital truth from the pattern that is set forth in this chapter.
On this Memorial Day weekend, we give thanks for all the unspeakably precious sacrfices men and women have made for our freedom since the days of our nation's founding. Our American history is rich with leaders who knew the Lord and whose heart's desire was to establish and maintain a nation in which the Gospel of Christ could be freely spread. The teachings of God's Word were foundational to the establishment of and the building of our nation. Sculptures and images of Old Testament worthies as well as biblical truths are enshrined in our national landmarks and monuments as a memorial to them, to God's Word, and to our founding values.
Today, unfortunately, our national values have become so warped that we have memorialized insignificant "heroes" in place of the true heroes. Many know the names and various details of the lives of sports and entertainment stars, but know very little of those who have suffered, bled, and died for our freedom since the days of our founding.
Israel's history reminds us that Americans are not the only ones who can forget about their past or have short term memories when it comes to understanding the real basis for our freedoms and our national prosperity. They, like we, have a history rich with miracles of divine intervention. Israel's history should also serve as a memorial to us of what happens when nations forget the Lord--their forgetfulness stages their national downfall.
Every American would be well-served then to give ear to the warning our text from Deuteronomy 6 delivers -- Lest we forget as well! Our text declares three important truths that must be remembered.
On this special Mother's Day occasion, our pastor takes a look at a classic text of Scripture that is often thought of around this time of year--Proverbs 31:10-31. Proverbs 31 is the record of lessons King Lemuel's mother had taught him. In verses 1-9, she taught him important lessons about how to be the right kind of king - what to do and not to do. She also knew what kind of woman/wife would make him happy and be of inestimable value to him, so she set out to show him (verses 10-31). The Holy Spirit saw fit to preserve these lessons so they could teach timeless truth for us today.
In a day in which society prizes and exalts the sassy, sexy, shameless, bossy woman as the ideal for today's woman, God has had a different role model all together. Since the greatest evidence of admiration is imitation, it is critical that today's Christian woman follow the role model God has set forth in His Scriptures.
The Scriptural text for today's morning sermon highlights three important characteristics that distinguish the Proverbs 31 woman from the stereotype that modern society praises and prizes. They are the characteristics each woman who knows the Lord as Savior ought to be developing as she pursues this divine pattern rather than pursuing what society spotlights. This text shows how each woman/wife/mother can genuinely be God's Prized and Praise-Worthy Woman.
The text for this morning's sermon emphasizes something about Nehemiah and his mindset as he set out to live and work for God that runs completely counter to the current mindset of this age - especially in the minds of many of God's people who live today. Nehemiah's purpose in coming to Jerusalem was to build walls, not bridges! Forgetting that fact is to do so at our own peril. This singular, simple statement Nehemiah gives in 2:17b carries profound implications for our church's life, for our homes, and our personal lives as Christians.
We have been conditioned to think because we have heard it so much and seen so much of it, that the great and exemplary demonstration of Christian love is a bridge-building exercise, not wall-building. Bridges of all kinds to all kinds of things are being built today and is viewed as a virtuous, noble thing--one that secures the welfare of God's people. But Nehemiah discerned from the very beginning that the welfare of God's people (2:10) was dependent upon building walls as a defense, not in bridge-building (2:17). These walls were physical but they broadcasted a moral and spiritual message to those around them in that day and will do so for us in our day as well.
Listen as our pastor presents the pressing need for wall-building as well as God's wonderful invitation to you today.
"Blood, toil, sweat, tears"; an unwillingness to give up, a determination to fight and struggle through whatever the cost may be. This is what Winston Churchill offered to his nation to prepare them for eventual victory over Hitler's Nazi Germany.
This mindset is what we will see in Nehemiah as he begins his work to rebuild Jerusalem and as he encounters opposition form enemies from without and opponents from within the city. He will refuse to surrender to the enemy; He will depend upon God for final victory. They will discover the painful, yet deepening, maturing truth that there is no such thing as opportunity without opposition.
To this point, Nehemiah's battle has been invisible. He has agonized for four long months in prayer and has seen the miracle of the king's heart turned in his favor. But soon his battle, though different, will become just as real as the German bombs that targeted Churchill's England. This battle will no longer be waged only in the prayer closet: it will become a battle out in the open where everyone can see and hear.
In this portion of Nehemiah 2, our pastor points out three key components to Nehemiah's plan as he prepares for battle and how he handles the task God has laid upon his heart. These same three components need to be part of our plan as we rebuild for God--whether it is a life, marriage, home or a work for God through the local church.
As the Apostle Paul drew near to the end of his life, he wanted to pass on some much needed instruction to his son in the faith, Timothy. The pastoral advice he would give would not only equip Timothy and encourage him in ministry, but it would also serve the same purpose for us today.
Paul's admonition in 2 Timothy 2:8 to Remember the Resurrection, might seem out of place in the context of dealing with endurance in ministry. But in reality it is not. Why does Paul mention this command to remember Christ's resurrection? What is it about the resurrection he wanted Timothy to remember? This message answers those questions. What God has recorded in His Word in this passage is timeless truth that is most instructive for us today.
All but four of the major world religions are based on mere philosophical statements of belief. Of the four that are based upon personalities rather than philosophies, only Christianity claims an empty tomb for its Founder! All the others never left their graves upon their burial!
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ on the third day after His death is the greatest event in human history and the only event that provides substantive hope in this life and for eternity! In this message from John 11, our pastor directs our attention to the unique claims of our Lord that prove His Deity and His supremacy over any and all those who have started a religous movement. They are all sinners themselves who are in desperate need of salvation. Along with Christ's unique claims come a consequent challenge for every person to accept.
This message is the continuation of the earlier Sunday morning message that reveals the final two of the four powerful and sobering truths from Joshua 7 that must be accepted and acted upon if we are to avoid becoming a modern day Achan--The Barrier to God's Blessing.
One of the striking lessons in Joshua 7 is this truth: a single individual can hinder the blessing of God and paralzye the work of the church of Christ! It is a sobering truth that every Christian must admit. If Rahab, the Canaanite harlot who was the object of divine mercy, is an account of God's grace in the midst of certain, coming judgment, then Achan's life is a vivid reminder of God's holiness on which no one can presume--not even those in the covenant community. The historical account of Achan's sin at Jericho and Israel's defeat at Ai is a solemn warning to Christians in the local church that sin carries serious consequences.
This message is part 1 of 2 that reveals two of the four powerful and sobering truths from Joshua 7 that must be accepted and acted upon if we are to avoid becoming a modern day Achan--The Barrier to God's Blessing.
The second half of Nehemiah 2 shows us how God used Nehemiah to stir the hearts of the people to begin the work of rebuilding the walls in the face of ridicule and fierce opposition. The message of this section is developed in four stages and leads us to arrive at what is the secondary lesson in this chapter and which is a key theme that will be developed not only in this chapter but throughout the rest of this book! This truth will be illustrated by the lives of three prominent adversaries to Nehemiah mentioned in our text--There is no opportunity apart from opposition!
Each child of God who purposes to build a life, a marriage, a home for God, any church congregation that is serious about advancing the cause of Christ for the glory of God must learn the vital lessons this passage teaches us! Not only will it guard you against discouragement and quitting but there are several positive benefits as well when we follow Nehemiah's example.
Dr. Tom Malone, who was greatly used of the Lord as the pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church for over 50 years, and who was led to start the Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, MI, testified of this truth he had personally experienced repeatedly in ministry: When God is going to do something wonderful, He starts with the difficult. When God is going to do something miraculous, He starts with the impossible.
Of course we know that when God is involved, there really is no such thing as impossible (Cf. Luke 1:37)! In Nehemiah's life, God would have to do something wonderful, miraculous even, to move a pagan king to allow him to go to Jerusalem and rebuild its walls!
Nehemiah 2 is a divinely preserved account of God’s wonderful and miraculous intervention. It really serves as an illustration of the truth God taught Solomon many centuries prior: The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will (Proverbs 21:1).
Like Nehemiah we need to recognize, focus upon and see this "good hand of our God" Who works in behalf of His people to bring about that which is for their good and His glory. This chapter teaches us important truth regarding the providential rule of God over the affairs of men. So in this message our pastor shows us two ways in which we can learn to see the providential rule of God in our lives, to Seeing God's Good Hand.
Do you want to learn how to pray more effectively? If there is to be a depth and substance to our praying, then there are certain elements we must incorporate into our praying as Nehemiah did. God's Spirit has given us an inspired pattern to follow in our praying so we need to learn from Nehemiah's example. It doesn't take two hours to pray this type of prayer, it only takes a couple of minutes. Read Nehemiah 1:5-11 and time it yourself!!
This message is part 3 in "Elements of Effective Prayer." It covers the third, fourth and fifth elements and concludes with two important lessons we learn from the way in which Nehemiah prayed.