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Message Monday: Exercising a Dangerous Faith

Intro:Image result for dangerous faith

  • For the past few weeks Jack and I have been preparing the study guides for our next Sunday Night Bible Study.
  • The book we are using for the study seeks to describe the lives of missionaries with one key Scripture.
  • After preparing several of these study guides I am amazed at how great each of these missionaries lives impacted the world for Christ.
    • In the midst of great persecution and trials these missionaries did not relent.
    • The faith of these Christian missionaries seems unbelievable and heroic.
    • That faith propelled them into dangerous and difficult missionary assignments.
    • But in each one of the studies that we have prepared, the missionaries we studied would not have looked at themselves and seen heroic efforts.
  • For instance listen to a quote by Jim Elliot.
    • If you were not aware Jim Elliot is the missionary that the movie The End of the Spear depicts.
    • He went to Ecuador and tried to reach the Huaorani Indians and was martyred by them in the 1958.
    • He says in his journal, “Forgive me for being so ordinary while claiming to know so extraordinary a God.”

Hook:

  • If Jim Elliot’s faith was ordinary either I do not know the definition of ordinary or my faith is paltry in comparison.
  • How about you? How dangerous is your faith?
  • Could you say that you were thinking of souls as you were being prepared for surgery like one of our members was this week when I visited her?
  • As a church, where is the next Poland partnership or church that we feel led of God to support?
  • What ministries do you sense God leading you to participate in, and perhaps give your time and talents to start?
  • As our world and country become more hostile to Christianity, how long will you identify yourself openly as a believer.
  • This morning we will examine three exercises can begin to develop a more dangerous faith.

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Posted by on October 24, 2016 in Ministry of the Word

 

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Message Monday: Practical Humility

Intro:

  • In His book Humility C.J. Mahaney offers this definition for humility: “Humility is honestly addressing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness”.
  • From this definition Mahaney then spends the remainder of his 200 page book exploring and explaining that definition and is biblical basis.
  • While we do not have that kind of time this morning, we do want to consider whether or not we are humble biblically.
  • Most of us know how to act humble, but humility is just an act if we do not have an inwardly humble heart.
    • People will congratulate us on a job well done and we will say it was really nothing, but on the insider we relish the accolades.
    • We will not volunteer for jobs in the church, but wait on someone to ask us to serve, so that we will not look braggadocios. Secretly we enjoying the affirmation of someone coming to us, and expect that people will ask us to take that job again.
    • In the south we are masters of the polite insult, and the tactful complaint.
      • Have you ever heard a southern lady say something like this, “I wanted to check and make sure that you received the gift because I never received a thank you note.”
      • Or maybe when someone offends us we will say a phrase like, “Well bless their hearts.”
      • On the surface phrases like that sound very humble and kind, but we all know that they are veneers for a seething outrage that we could be treated that way.

 

Hook:

  • We may allow others to go before ourselves, we may hold doors for every person, we may never take credit, and we may wait for others to ask us to serve but do we do any of this because we honestly evaluate ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness?
  • Today I would like to help you see four ways to practice genuine humility in your heart and mind.

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Posted by on October 17, 2016 in Ministry of the Word

 

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Message Monday: Necessary Changes If We Fellowship with Christ

Intro:

  • Today we return to our series through the book of Philippians.
  • In chapter one of Philippians Paul came back again and again to the theme of how Christ makes a difference in the life of the believer. Consider the difference Christ makes in these verses:
    • He is at work when we are at our worst – v6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

 

  • Christ makes us fruitful when we see little fruit. – 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. 12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.

 

  • Christ is the goal of life and makes our end a gain – 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22

 

  • With Christ even suffering is a privilege – 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him,
  • As Paul opens chapter two he expands on the theme of fellowship in Christ. Think about his words in verse 27- 28.
    • 27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.
    • Paul’s point in these verses is that because of our connection to Christ the way we fellowship with other believers matters.
    • He even goes so far as to say that this fellowship with other believers is a sign to the world of our salvation.

 

Hook:

  • So why is it that our fellowship with other believers matters so much?
    • Is Paul commending to us a kind of superficial fellowship that calls us to wear our fellowship as nothing more than a “Morningside” name tag we all wear?
    • This kind of superficial fellowship does not require us to have any further connection with the beliefs, lives, or commitments of other believers.
    • On the other hand is Paul commending to us the kind of total fellowship in which we must subsume all of our distinctions in favor of uniformity?
    • This kind of extreme fellowship does not seem to correspond to the fellowship that we know exists among the three persons of the Trinity, so why should we expect it to be the kind of fellowship God wants for His people?
  • With that in mind, perhaps we should consider the fellowship that exists among the Trinity to get to Paul’s point.
  • Wayne Grudem, a theologian helps us to understand relational aspect of the Trinity when he says…
    • … the distinction between the persons is not a difference in “being” but a difference in “relationships.” This is something far removed from our human experience, where every different human “person” is a different being as well. Somehow God’s being is so much greater than ours that within his one undivided being there can be an unfolding into interpersonal relationships, so that there can be three distinct persons. What then are the differences between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? There is no difference in attributes at all. The only difference between them is the way they relate to each other and to the creation. The unique quality of the Father is the way he relates as Father to the Son and Holy Spirit. The unique quality of the Son is the way he relates as Son. And the unique quality of the Holy Spirit is the way he relates as Spirit. (Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House, 2004), 253–254.)
  • Did you notice how Grudem captures our understanding of fellowship that exists in the Trinity when he says “one undivided being” can be “[unfolded] into interpersonal relationship so that there can be three distinct persons.”
    • There is unity and diversity in this Trinitarian type of fellowship.
    • While we as believers cannot imitate this kind of fellowship on our own, we certainly can relate to God as one God and uniquely to each person in the Godhead.
    • Similarly we can strive towards a fellowship in our churches that mirrors God’s internal Trinitarian fellowship.
    • Today as we look at these first two verses of Philippians 2 I intend on exploring two specific impacts this kind of Trinitarian fellowship has upon us.

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Posted by on October 10, 2016 in Ministry of the Word

 

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Message Monday: Ministry that Multiplies God’s Glory

Click the following link to reacd more about faithful deacon minsitry: https://9marks.org/journal/deacons/

Intro:

  • When you think of the work of a deacon, what comes to mind?
  • Do you automatically begin to think of a group meeting in a room somewhere debating about some mundane detail of church work?
  • Do you see deacons as the uncooperative people in the church we must all answer to?
  • I find it humorous that Wake Forest University, originally a school for training pastors, settled upon mascot that would strike fear into the hearts of opponents – a Demon Deacons.
  • One parody account on Twitter known as the “Surly Deacon” posts regularly saying things like
    • “Called the police due to suspected vandalism at church. An investigation revealed the children’s ministry had a project that used glitter.”
    • Or “All I’m saying is church attendance is in direct proportion to AC tonnage.”
  • Does the New Testament want us to view Deacons in this way?
  • According to Jamie Dunlop a pastor a Capitol Hill Baptist in DC, in the New Testament the position of deacon is two things: a shock absorber and a servant. He says..
    • Deacons are shock absorbers because they “were chosen to preserve unity at a time when botched administration was creating fissures in the church.”
    • Deacons are servants because “their very name means servant, and their precursors in Acts 6 were chosen to handle the practical needs of the church.”

 

Hook:

  • If you have not already guessed it, today we are thinking about how the ministry of deacons fits into our church ministry.
  • To do that we need to talk about church problems.
  • Church problems very quickly become obstacles to God’s glory and disrupt the spread of the gospel.
  • Today we want to follow the three pronged approach of the early church to deal with church problems.

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Posted by on October 3, 2016 in Ministry of the Word

 

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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.

Image result for making disciples

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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