Stopped in my tracks!

Invisible?

How do you draw “invisible?” Well, it seems the best way is to make use of darkness as the Genesis account does. God created light out of darkness…out of nothing. So, I attempted to take a picture of darkness above.

I was almost finished reading my daily Bible reading plan when all of a sudden Hebrews 11:3 stopped me in my tracks. I had flown by this verse as I anticipated the great stories ahead of me. But not today.

Hebrews 11:3

[3] By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

First, what have you thought about this verse? It initially caught my attention because it sounds like it’s saying something different than Genesis 1 account where we conclude that God created the universe out of nothing.

I grabbed Peter O’Brien off the shelf after a quick look at the ESV study Bible note. He said this:

“‘What cannot be seen’ is parallel to ‘the word of God’ in the first half of the verse and regard the two halves as forming a chiasmus.”

  1. Was formed……………………1’ Came into being
  2. The universe…………………..2’ What is seen
  3. By the word of God………….3’ by what cannot be seen

His conclusion is really good: “God’s word is an invisible power that produces visible results.”

Amazing! I needed to hear this as I prep to preach His word on Sunday. And in particular, this makes one of the verses even more powerful.

John 17:20

[20] “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word

The sharing of the gospel will result in more people believing. It’s not the disciples who cause them to believe, it’s that same conclusion stated above. Sow the word and God will cause some of it to sprout. That is, those who are His.

I had not connected this post to the name of this blog! Indeed, God’s word cannot be imprisoned!


Sermon Manuscript for Lord’s Day 9/19/2021

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Order of Worship—John 17.6-19

Prelude

Welcome and Announcements

Call to Worship

(Ps. 5:11-12)  11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.  12 For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.

Hymn No. 55 Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken

Pastoral Prayer

Hymn No. 90 God will Take Care of You

(Rom. 12:1-2) I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Hymn No. 587 Take Time to be Holy

Sermon—John 17.6-19

Hymn No. 104 Amazing Grace

Benediction

(Ps. 9:10) And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.

Next Week’s Text 17:20-26


What is Yom Kippur?

Image result for yom kippur

My family and I (Gentiles) were allowed to sit in on a Yom Kippur celebration several years ago. What struck me was the deadness of the event. This event happens once a year and yet there was no celebration. The picture above is not from the holy day that we visited but that’s all there was…dull reading to dull hearts. Now, I don’t know their hearts but I watch people closely as the promises of God were read. The people were non-responsive…just another day. Well, I understand why. So, let me point you to this article in hopes that God might use it break open your heart.

Look here

I would love to chat with you if you have any questions. Comment below and we will find a way to talk. Blessings!


Sermon Manuscript for Lord’s Day 9/12/2021

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Order of Worship—John 17.1-5

Prelude

Welcome and Announcements

Call to Worship

(Ps. 145:1-13) I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever.  2 Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever.  3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.  4 One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.  5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.  6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness.  7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.  8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  9 The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.  10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you!  11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power,  12 to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.  13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations.

Hymn No. 28 To God be the Glory

Pastoral Prayer

Indeed, Lord, you have done great things! We ask, please pull back the veil of familiarity that we might behold your glory afresh, today. May we have eyes to see and ears to hear. May the thought of your amazing grace move us to genuine worship as we sing of your glory…as we hear your word…stir our hearts to praise.

Lord we also want to remember those who lost their lives 20 years ago. Please, Father, have mercy on the families and friends of those who lost loved ones. Help them through this tragedy. May they know the perfect peace that is only found in you. Woo them to the greatest act of love in all of history in the sacrifice and resurrection of your beloved Son. There will be tragedy and death in this life, but what we do with Jesus is the most important thing in our lives. Make yourself, known Lord!

For truly, you are holy, as we are about to sing. You are God and there is no other. No one is like. You are set apart from all other things. You are transcendent…above all things! You are perfect in all your ways. You are light and in you there is no darkness. May we have fellowship with you through the perfect work of your son.

Give us faith! We cannot please you any other way! We love, you Lord. Make much of your Son today in this service. Do with us as you please. We are yours. Glorify your name!

Hymn No. 68 Holy, Holy, Holy

(Heb. 9:22-28)  22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.  23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.  24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.  25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own,  26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.  27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,  28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Hymn No. 252 Down at the Cross

Sermon—John 17:1-5

Hymn No. 438 Jesus, I my Cross Have Taken

Benediction

(Num. 6:24-26) 24 The LORD bless you and keep you;  25 the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;  26 the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Next Week’s text: John 17:6-19


What is Rosh Hashanah?

Take a look at this article from Jews for Jesus. It is excellent!

https://jewsforjesus.org/blog/ram-or-lamb


Sermon Manuscript for Lord’s Day 9/5/2021

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Order of Worship—John 16.16-33

Prelude

Announcements and Welcome

Call to Worship

(Ps. 107:1-9) Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!  2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble  3 and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.  4 Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in;  5 hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.  6 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.  7 He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in.  8 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!  9 For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

(Ps. 107:32-37) 32 Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.  33 He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground,  34 a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants.  35 He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water.  36 And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in;  37 they sow fields and plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield.

Hymn No. 136 O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

Pastoral Prayer

Hymn No. 499 Victory in Jesus

(Jn. 16:26-27) 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf;  27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

Hymn No. 555 I Love You, Lord

Sermon—John 16:16-33

Lord’s Supper

Hymn No. 143 You are My All in All

Benediction

(Jn. 16:33) 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have [conquered] the world.”

To his Kingdom, there will be no end! It is an abiding victory and his victory is our victory by faith!

Next Week’s text: John 17:1-26 Part 1


Sermon Manuscript for Lord’s Day 8/29/2021

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Order of Worship—John 16.4b-15

Prelude

Announcements and Welcome

Call to Worship

(Isa. 40:9-14)  9 Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”  10 Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.  11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.  12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?  13 Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel?  14 Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?

Hymn No. 314 “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”

Pastoral Prayer

Hymn No. 88 “Abide with Me”

(Rom. 5:8)  8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Hymn No. 250 “And Can it Be”

Sermon—John 16:4b-15 “The Holy Spirit is Better than Jesus”

Hymn No. 474 “All the Way My Savior Leads Me”

Benediction

(Heb. 10:12-17) 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,  13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.  14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.  15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,  16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”  17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”


Sermon Manuscript for Lord’s Day 8/22/2021

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Order of Worship—John 15.18 – 16.4a

Prelude

Announcements and Welcome

Call to Worship

(Ps. 150:1-6) Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens!  2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!  3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!  4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!  5 Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!  6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!

Hymn No. 22 “We Will Glorify”

Pastoral Prayer

O, Father, the storms and winds have blown this week and they are still raging! May our feet remain firmly planted on the Rock and not sand. We need you! The pain of loss…the pain of not knowing what’s next…the pain of things being different…the pain waiting for bad news…O Lord please hold us fast. Be near us! Comfort our hearts. Help us bear one another’s burdens. May we weep with those who weep.

But we do not grieve as those without hope! (1 Cor. 15:55-58) 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”  56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Hymn No. 56 “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise”

(2 Tim. 3:10-17) 10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,  11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra– which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.  12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,  13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it  15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Hymn No. 344 “Ancient Words”

Sermon John 15:8 – 16:4a

Hymn No. 663 “O Church Arise”

Benediction

(Jas. 1:2-4)  2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,  3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

(2 Cor. 13:14)  14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.


Catalyst Missions

Catalyst Missions

I have noticed a lot of traffic on this blog is from many other countries throughout the world. So, if you are looking for help to grow in your understanding of the Scriptures and would be committed to some intense training for the purpose of bearing fruit and making disciples in your own context, take a look at Catalyst Missions. You can click the hyperlink or you can find the link on the sidebar under Ministries.

You can also check out the Catalyst Missions YouTube channel for updates, past work, ongoing work, and many of the training modules that are in Spanish. There are sermons available there as well.

I have personally been to central America to help train pastors and leaders there. I only say that for the purpose of giving you some assurance that you can trust this organization. I’ve been a part of other attempts to make disciples of all nations and this, by far, is the best group I have been a part of. Check them out.

Here are some pictures of the training in Nicaragua.


Sermon Manuscript for Lord’s Day 8/15/2021

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Order of Worship—John 15.12-17

Prelude

Announcements and Welcome

Call to Worship

(Ps. 116:12-19) 12 What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me?  13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD,  14 I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.  15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.  16 O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds.  17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.  18 I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,  19 in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!

Hymn No. 6 “How Great Thou Art”

Pastoral Prayer

Hymn No. 156 “Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners”

(1 Cor. 3:4-11)  4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?  5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.  6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.  8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.  9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.  10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.  11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Hymn No. 346 “The Church’s One Foundation

Sermon—John 15:12-17 “Loving Other Leaky Pots”

Hymn No. 234 “When I survey the Wondrous Cross”

Benediction

(2 Pet. 1:3-8) 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,  4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.  5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,  6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,  7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.  8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s love one another and bear much fruit for God’s glory! Make every effort!