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Message Monday: Making Disciples Matters to Morningside

Intro:Image result for making disciples

  • For the past few weeks we have been examining things that matter to Morningside.
  • The first week we thought about how we emphasize what we believe as we welcome people into this church based upon whether or not their profession of faith matches our own.
    • While we do not require members to profess the entire Baptist Faith and Message, we certainly are looking for them to profess their personal relationship with Jesus as Savior and Lord.
    • Those who profess Jesus as Savior and Lord will want to naturally grow in their understanding and application of what we as Baptist believe.
  • The second two weeks we thought about how we emphasize how believers should treat one another as we seek to shepherd one another towards Christ.
    • One point that I wanted to emphasize but did not because of time is that we have a great guide as to how to shepherd people in Dr. Neely’s benediction.
    • That benediction is like a covenant to shepherd one another as a family of faith, living in hope, serving in joy, and bonded in love.
    • That benediction promises that we will follow the intention of our Savior not to let one person be lost.
  • Today as we complete our look at what matters to Morningside, we will be looking at our mission.
    • Mark Twain’s famously said, “To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.”
    • Zig Ziglar similarly says if we aim at nothing we will hit it every time.
    • Both these men recognize that it is not difficult to be mediocre.
    • The question we must ask our self is whether or not it matters to Christ for us to be mediocre.
    • Paul Trip, a biblical counselor and pastor calls out his fellow pastors decrying their mediocrity in preaching.
      • He says that we pastors have lost our awe of God and thus become comfortable with representing God as less than excellent.
      • He then says, “we’ve been called to shine the light of the glory of God into the hearts that have been made dark by looking for live in all the wrong places. We’ve been called to offer the filling glories of grace to those who are empty and malnourished. We’ve been called to represent a glorious king who alone is able to rescue, heal, redeem, transform, forgive, deliver, and satisfy.

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Transition:

  • While I hope as a pastor, that I never settle for preaching about our magnificent Savior as anything less than he deserves; I want to ask you, are you satisfied with a mediocre witness and walk for Jesus?
  • I dare say that most of us realize how mediocre our witness and walk actually are, and I hope that none of us are okay with that mediocrity.
  • So how do we change from having a mediocre witness and walk?
    • Notice that in Tripp’s quote he mentions three times, what we were called to do.
    • Things we are called by our Savior and Lord are our mission.
    • A ministry without a mission will be mediocre.
    • Today, I want to suggest to you that our Morningside mission statement matters to us if we will avoid a mediocre witness and walk.
    • To do that let’s examine 2 Timothy 2:1-7.

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Posted by on September 26, 2016 in Ministry of the Word

 

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Message Monday: Preventing the Hardened Heart

Here are my notes from Sunday’s Message at Morningside!

Intro:

  • Have you heard the phrase, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”?
  • We seek hardened metals as essential for all kinds of tools and for building materials. We want hardened soldiers to go into battle.
  • In a world of struggles, difficulty, and challenges we take it as a badge of honor for someone to call us tough.

 

Hook:

  • Do we, in the church look at having a hardened heart as some sort of badge of honor as well?
  • While we would never call it a hardened heart, we often times commend people for “spiritual toughness”.
  • After all, church ministry is hard. Our hearts get so broken that we want to avoid more hurt. After a period of defeats, It is easy to begin thinking that things can’t ever change.
  • Even though we would not call it a hardened heart, all of us who are Christians will be tempted to allow our heart to be hardened.
  • Carey Nieuwhof a Christian pastor and blogger gives five signs of a hardened heart. Listen to them and see if they describe you?
    • Do you ever really celebrate or cry? (Romans 12:15)
    • Do you genuinely care about others? (Philippians 2:1-4)
    • Do you find yourself mechanically going from day to day instead of experiencing meaningfulness for God? (2 Cor. 5:11)
    • Do you find yourself thinking the worst of people rather than thinking the best? (1 Corinthians 13)
  • Do any of those signs describe you? While I pray not, in a room this size, I am sure that those symptoms touch any number of us.
  • Some of you may be asking yourself what’s so bad about a hardened heart.
    • A hardened heart is one that would rather rebel against God than surrender one’s life to His loving guidance and care.
    • From Pharaoh to the Pharisees those who had hardened heart were excluded from God’s kingdom.
  • So today friends, I want to offer you four God given remedies that will prevent you from having a hardened heart.

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Posted by on June 14, 2016 in Ministry of the Word

 

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Message Monday (on a Wednesday): When God Asks for What is Precious…

I have fallen a bit behind in posting my message notes, but want to make sure that I try to catch up today. I only had a very short outline and message for this past week’s message, so I will try to post it later this week. Today, I am posting my message from 05/22/16.

quietIntro:

  • Milestones are difficult for all of us because they mark the moment when things change from that point forward. Some milestones are
    • Births
    • Graduations
    • Starting Jobs
    • Leaving Jobs
    • Getting Married
    • Having Children
    • Death
  • Even though milestones are difficult because change is real, that same sense of frustration can occur anytime we begin to experience major changes in our lives.
  • It is the frustration with change that we will talk about today.
  • Change frustrates us because in many ways it reminds us that no matter how hard we try, we cannot hold onto what we value as precious.

 

Hook:

  • That friends is where we must realize God’s part in change.
  • God challenges us to give him everything we call precious.
  • He does this because He does not want us to be crippled or crushed by holding onto something too long.
  • If we will trust God, even when he calls us to give up what is precious he promises to provide us with something far better.
  • Today, I want to show you the four provisions of God that are better than what we call precious.

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Posted by on June 1, 2016 in Ministry of the Word

 

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Message Monday: Handling Conflict God’s Way – Does it Matter What Bathrooms Christians Use?

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I delivered this message to our congregation yesterday May 15, 2016. As you read it, pray for school administrators, teachers, parents and students. Pray for those who struggle with gender confusion and those in their families. Pray that our nation would remember the importance of a person’s religious identity even as they recognize the importance of every person’s unique sexual identity.

Intro:

  • On Friday our government chose to advise every school in the United States that they must accommodate the desire of a student to use the bathroom or locker room of the gender they identify with most.
  • This move of course came to the lament of Christians who see this kind of action as a overreach into an area of privacy and modesty that Christians are commanded to protect and share with their spouse.

Hook:

  • Some Christians reacted immediately to say that they were going to pull their children out of public schools.
  • To be honest most of us probably had that knee jerk reaction.
  • The question for us today is how God wants us to respond to this situation and to the number of situations that occur as our government makes decisions that conflict with our faith.
  • Even though our county’s First Amendment ensures that we have right to freely exercise our religion, such a right has no power if we cannot practically live out that right.
  • Our passage today shows us how Abraham dealt with a similar situation in which he was given an expansive right from the king of his land.
  • From this passage we will learn four strategies Abraham uses to sojourn in the land of a foreign king.

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Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Ministry of the Word

 

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Worldview Wednesday: Praying for the Nation

Worldview Wednesday: Praying for the Nation

There can be not doubt about it, erotic liberty is here to stay no matter how much believers might bemoan it. Whether it is the now year old Supreme Court decision for same sex couples to pursue marriage, or the push now to have transgender bathrooms, or the emerging call for polygamy and other alternative sexual lifestyles to be recognized; the momentum of the government to protect public expressions of erotic liberty has increased.

At the same time, the willingness of the government to protect religious liberty has eroded. In essence believers in all religions, but especially Christianity have been told that their religious liberty only extends so far as the door of their homes and houses of worship. Public persecution in the form of legal action against believers for expressing any public dimension to their faith has increased.

With that in mind, I began to consider the National Day of prayer that happened around a week ago asking, “For what did those who gathered pray?” Were they praying against persecution? Did they pray for a return to the more Christian America? Did some even pray for God to smite the leaders of these movements towards erotic liberty? Were they praying that God would just send the right political Savior to rescue us?

I found myself thinking about the current tension and wondered how a Baptist pastor should pray, knowing our traditional views about religious liberty as well as church and state. Over the next few weeks I want to share a little more about my thoughts on Baptist prayers for the nation, but here is a preview:

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Read more about John Leland, a Baptist pastor at the Founding of our nation.

  • Should We Pray for More Preaching or More Political Involvement?
  • Should We Pray for Liberty to Express Both Our Religious Identity & Our Sexual Identity?
  • Should We Pray for Tolerance or Transparency?
  • Should We Pray for the Government Separation or Sanction?

I look forward to sharing why I prayed this way in the next few weeks.

 
 

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Message Monday: If Mama Ain’t Happy, Can Anybody be Happy?

Message Monday: If Mama Ain’t Happy, Can Anybody be Happy?

Admittedly this post is a little late, but I thought it would be wise to share with those in the church family the rest of my message from mother’s day. This is not a full manuscript, but my bullet points.

Intro:

  • We have all heard the phrase I titled the message after. If this kind of broken relationship were the only brokenness to worry about, life would be much simpler.
  • Today we live in a world of brokenness. Carle Zimmerman in 1947 listed five characteristics of societies that fail. (Family & Civilization)
    • Marriage is devalued.
    • Husbands and Wives do not seek to complement and cooperate to build a home & family.
    • Children disrespect and defy parents and authority.
    • Sexual Promiscuity is celebrated.
    • People tolerate formerly aberrant activities.
  • A foolish mistake or intentional sin may have led to the brokenness in a person’s life; however, God gives the grace of children, relationships, churches and ultimately Christ to mend our brokenness. The only problem is that most of the time we ignore God’s gracious gifts.
  • Billy Graham said “When the morals of society are upset, the family is the first to suffer. The home is the basic unit of our society and a nation is only as strong as her homes. The breaking up of. Home does not often make headlines, but it eats like termites at the structure of the nation.” (World Aflame, 1965, 20)
  • Before we think that we have no chance of experiencing the kind of brokenness that these families endure; perhaps we need to hear this quote from biblical counselor Bob Kelleman:
  • Any one of us can experience brokenness just as Sarah, Abraham, and Hagar did in today’s passage.
  • Brokenness described by Kelleman again is,  “the result of being sinned against and the result of facing suffering ‘brokenness.'”

Hook: Since brokenness comes into all of our lives, the question for us today is how does  a Christian respond to brokenness. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Ministry of the Word

 

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When Forever Doesn’t Seem So Good…

When Forever Doesn’t Seem So Good…

Often in preaching we hear the pastor talk about living forever as if the best thing about Jesus saving us is that we get to live forever. Can we as biblical believers really understand “forever” or “everlasting” automatically as something good?

Think for example of Ecclesiastes 3:11 which testifies that God makes everything beautiful in its time. Then Solomon connects this testimony of God’s good work with the reality of the nature with which he created us. God put eternity in man’s heart. Finally Solomon contrasts the eternity set in man with the temporary apprehension man has of God’s work. In other words eternity is not good since fallen men cannot discover the fullness of God’s good work. Similarly, Is. 57:15-16 makes clear that while the Lord inhabits eternity, currently he and man seem to be at odds. The passage then testifies that He is the one who will cease the contending between Himself and men.

Eternity by itself is not good and yet we all know that Jesus promises us everlasting life. Is. 45:17 makes it clear that Israel is saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation, not to be shamed to all eternity. Romans 6:23 tells us that God gives us eternal life through Jesus our Lord. What we must never forget is that eternal life is good only if it is eternal life with God. For instance, 2 Peter 3:18 reminds believers to grow in the grace of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter points out that God deserves glory both now and through eternity. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2015 in Shepherding

 

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