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Message Monday: Training the Twelve – Andrew and Phillip: Detail Disciples John 6:5-8

Intro:

  • Details. When we think about them, there is a general dislike for them.
  • In fact we have come to prefer the little phrase, “the devil is in the details” as opposed to its much earlier cousin, “God is in the details”.
    • The earlier phrase was intended to express the reality that God cares about details, so we should be diligent to address them.
    • Our more modern variant expresses our dislike for details by making it clear that they will be deceptive, frustrating, and problematic.
  • And yet, details are important.
    • I am sure that none of us want a surgery performed non-detail oriented surgeon. Nor would we want a detail-less pharmacist filling our prescriptions.
    • We would not want our homes or cars built by architects, engineers, and contractors who did not care about details.
    • Really when it comes to those who take care of us, we really care about details!
    • On the other hand, when we are the person in charge taking care of the details, we far more often complain at the time they consume or downplay their importance.
  • We have a dislike for detail oriented people, as much as we have a dislike for dealing with details.
    • Attention to detail has a tendency to push people away, as the focus turns to the process or the product desired.
    • Attention to detail also can have a tendency to overlook faith or God’s role due to the focus being on the substance of the contemporary challenges

 

Hook:

  • So, if we were to look at two detail oriented disciples we might think that Jesus would want to change their most basic tendencies.
  • But Jesus, the Word made flesh, cared so much about details that He created a world that runs on minute details. He fulfilled every prophecy about the Messiah to the finest detail. And he addressed every sin on the cross not leaving out even the smallest detail of sin in our lives.
  • So instead of overlooking these disciples of detail or seeking to totally change their fundamental nature, Jesus sought to train Andrew and Phillip to utilize their tendency towards details for his glory.

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Posted by on February 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Message Monday: Training the Twelve – Peter: The Impulsive Disciple Luke 22:31-34

Originally Preached 02/11/18

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Intro:

  • Friday evening, our family watched the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang South Korea.
  • After the Korean conflict when the nation was divided at the 38th parallel, and the DMZ was established, few would have thought that either Korea would be chosen as a host site for the Olympics.
  • Over decades, North Korea has celebrated its status as one of the most impulsive, erratic, and bewildering nations in the world. A famous picture shows the relative darkness of North Korea at night, with little electric illumination in comparison to the nations around them.
  • While the North isolates themselves in every way possible, South Korea has become a nation transformed into a technological marvel. In industry, technology, and quality of life South Korea far outpaces its northern neighbor.
  • The greatest detractor from the quality of life in South Korea is the constant tension of coexisting with the impulsive North Korean regime.
  • So it was a surprise to hear that the Koreas would march together in the opening ceremonies.
    • Athletes from both nations came into the stadium together representing a united Korea.
    • They wore an emblem and flew the banner of the Korean peninsula rather than their own national colors.
    • This theme was further emphasized as the penultimate torch bearers were members of the united Korea women’s hockey team.
  • This moment of Olympic theatre, while certainly more show than substance, is the kind of move that should be celebrated and encouraged, amid necessary denouncements, if North Korea is ever to truly become a more stable nation.

 

Hook:

  • The problem with impulsiveness, wherever it is found, is its irrational unreliability.
  • Impulsiveness derives from personal whims, desires, and opinions.
  • By saying that impulsiveness is irrational, I mean that we cannot reason with someone once they have set their attention upon accomplishing their desires.
  • By saying that impulsiveness is unreliable, I mean that no matter what has been promised beforehand, if that promise no longer suits the person it will not be kept.
  • This is not to say that all impulses are bad. Often it is the impulsive inklings that lead to great advancements.
  • It is to say that impulsiveness, or the practice of following whatever we feel, think or desire in the moment is problematic.
  • And if the apostle Peter were here today, I believe he would be the first to amen these three points that speak about transforming impulsiveness into steadfastness.

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Posted by on February 12, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Message Monday: Training the Twelve – The Call Matthew 09:35-10:04

Originally Preached 02/04/18Jesus walking with disciples

Intro:

  • Recently, the television show Worst Cooks in America came onto my radar.
  • The show takes a group of the self-proclaimed worst cooks in America and over a number of weeks, through cooking demonstrations and competitions attempts to have two master chefs transform these cooks.
  • Caroline likes to watch all kinds of cooking shows, but I seldom watch them because I need no encouragement to find something else to eat.
  • But one weekend I overheard the show, and the participants sharing some of their stories and foibles in the kitchen. And as much as I hate to admit it, I began to engage with their stories as ordinary people who wanted to do something better.
  • Do those sorts of shows capture your attention as well?
    • It may not be Worst Cooks in America, but perhaps you loved American Idol, the Voice, or America’s Got Talent. Each week ordinary people competed and the shows share their story.
    • You may have been a part of The Biggest Loser craze a few years ago and watched with amazement as overweight people transformed.
    • Perhaps you remember with fondness shows like Trading Spaces or other similar home remodel and redecorating shows. Every episode you are introduced to new people and the story of how they are making their house into a home.

 

Hook:

  • While we could continue naming shows, there is a theme in these shows that engages us: take someone ordinary and help them transform.
  • Is it any wonder that when we look at the gospels and our Savior that we see that theme originating with him?
  • Jesus knows our humanity and understands that we all love to see someone transformed – and that is why he calls us to a journey of discipleship.
  • We are beginning a series that focuses on Jesus’ relationship with his twelve disciples.
    • We will see an incredible journey of transformation that will occur as He interacts with twelve ordinary men.
    • My prayer is that we will all see how Jesus wants each believer to be a part of a transformation story as he has called each of us to be his disciple as well.
  • Today, as we look at Jesus’ call of the Twelve we will see three ways Jesus’ call demands upon our transformation.

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Posted by on February 12, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Message Monday: The Joy of Having Confidence in Christ

Intro:strong-confidence

  • This past week the Chicago Cubs made history as they broke a 108 year World Series drought and a 71 year deficit in bringing home the National League Pennant.
  • It was hard not to pull for the Cubs even if you are not a baseball fan.
  • That said, did you hear the story of one Cubs fan named Darel Sterner?
    • Mr. Sterner lived in Des Moines Iowa and was 85.
    • The reason he made the news was that he was a die-hard Cubs fan.
    • He was a barber for 61 years, where the Cubs were a constant topic of conversation.
    • He was a “ornery cuss” according to his son, always playing and telling jokes.
    • By game 7 he was in hospice care after experiencing declining health after a stroke.
    • There at his beside his entire family had gathered to watch the Cubs with his family.
    • Three hours after the win, Mr. Sterner passed away.
    • His son told the reporters, “We all believe he is in heaven, one of the first Cubs fans there to see them win the World Series before passing away.”
  • Let me ask you a question about Mr. Sterner.
    • What story does his life tell, confidence in Christ or confidence in the Cubs?
    • According to the newspaper story it would be hard to give any answer but confidence in the Cubs.

Hook:

  • So let me ask you a question this morning: Which kind of confidence does the story of your life tell?
    • Now not all of us have a devotion and confidence in a sports team, but all of us have passions and desires other than the Savior.
    • Not all of these passions or pass-times are bad, and most of the time they can be used as platforms for us to share the gospel.
    • The question I am asking is if anyone would mistake that your confidence is in Christ by the story your life is telling.
  • Today I hope to share with you three specific joys in knowing your story displays confidence in Christ.

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Posted by on November 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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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Upcoming posts in the same series.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

How Do I Deal with Problems? Poll Question

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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