God gave us The Bible so that we can learn from it. We often take for granted a book that gives us guidance for our every day lives.
The Benefits of The Scripture Romans 15:4
- Instruction: God expects certain things from us, which is why we have The Bible. He tells us the scriptures are ‘for our learning’. The things we read in the scriptures didn’t happen yesterday, they happened long ago. However, just because they happened many years before our existence doesn’t mean God put them in The Bible for no reason. He put them there for us to learn from.
- Patience: in verse 4 we see the phrase “that we through patience”. This is talking referring to our decision making. The scriptures teach us patience. Making fast decisions usually makes us leave God out of our decision making process. God’s love shows His love towards us. Wait for God, let His plan take control rather than our own.
- Comfort: Do you know how much comfort we get from reading God’s Word? We read in verse 4 “comfort of the scriptures”, meaning He doesn’t want us to scared and confused. The Bible tells us that Jesus says He will not leave us comfortless, He will come to us. Even though your situation may be scary, we can be comforted in knowing that God is always there for us.
- Hope: Continuing the phrase in verse 4 “comfort of the scriptures might have hope”. Christians have the most hope because our future is the brightest. We serve the one, true, living God. We have hope because we have God’s presence. He is always with us, no matter how confusing our situation may be.
Paul was a great man of God and traveled in his day to spread the Gospel. Paul had a wonderful philosophy of the ministry that we can all learn from. Like others, he faced persecution and punishment, but still didn’t give up to teach and preach to the world.
Paul’s Philosophy of Ministry 2 Corinthians 12: 14-15
- The Focus of Paul: In verse 14 Paul says “I will not be burdensome”. What Paul was saying is that he did not want to be a problem, he didn’t want to cause trouble. He did not want anything except to be able to teach and preach about Christ. Paul was concerned about one thing, and that was the spiritual growth of the people.
- The Sacrifice of Paul: In verse 15 Paul claims that he will “very gladly spend and be spent for you”. Paul isn’t talking about spending money, he’s talking about giving himself. He’s referring to sacrificing his time for the people at Corinth. Time is as valuable, if not more valuable, than money ever thought about being. Investing your time in a person, SHOWING them God’s love rather than just telling them about it. Paul relied on support from churches yes, but he didn’t ask for money. He gave his time for the church. Paul had a servants heart and was willing to serve.
- The Devotion of Paul: verse 15 tells us Paul said “though the more abundantly I love you the less I be loved.” Paul was saying he was giving his all to the church, and the people didn’t acknowledge or appreciate him. Paul didn’t want recognition or applause, he wanted the people at Corinth to know Christ. He unselfishly gave himself to the church and people there, and the people at Corinth didn’t seem to care. The more Paul gave, the less they loved him.
How true is the devotion in our lives? When was the last time we truly thanked God for what he has done for us? Jesus gave His all to us on the cross and continues to give it to us every day….but we don’t thank Him for it as we should. Be devoted to God, be devoted to thanking Him for the blessings we have received. We are unworthy of every single one of them, but God chooses to bless us anyway! Show God’s love to others, and show God you love and appreciate Him.
“Faith” – that’s a small, but big word. What does faith mean to you? Do you think it’s only believing in something that you can’t see? Do you think it’s bravery or willingness to serve God? A great story of faith is found in the book of Matthew, a passage many of us learned as a child. Do you remember the story of Jesus walking on water? This is a story of faith.
Four Characteristics of Faith Matthew 14: 22-31
- The Nature of Faith: verse 22 introduces that Jesus “constrained” his disciples to get on a ship and sail to the other side. “Constrained” means to convince. Jesus already knew what the outcome would be, but the disciples did not. We need to trust what God tells us to do, because He alone knows what is coming our way next.
- The Requirement of Faith: verse 28 features Peter speaking to Jesus. After the disciples got on the ship and it sailed, Jesus went to a mountain to pray. Night came, Jesus was still there praying alone. The disciples were on the ship, and the wind began to blow harder and harder until the ship was tossed in the strong waves. The disciples saw something walking on the sea, and they were immediately afraid. They thought they were seeing a ghost! It was no ghost, it was Jesus. Jesus told them in verse 27 “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” He immediately tried to comfort His disciples. This is the requirement of faith – in verse 28 Peter told Jesus if it’s you walking on the water, tell me to come to you on the water. To Peter and the other disciples, walking on water was impossible! Peter knew that Jesus had the ability to make it possible, and Jesus told Peter one simple word: “Come.” Guess what? When Peter stepped over the side of that ship, he was walking on water. Only Jesus could make this happen.
- The Loss of Faith: verse 30 says “when he saw the wind boisterous”, speaking of Peter. When Peter noticed that the wind was still blowing so hard, he became afraid. Peter, who was full of faith just seconds earlier and believed that Jesus could allow him to walk on water, suddenly lost his faith. Peter focused on the storm rather than focusing on Jesus. Peter took his eyes off of Christ. That sounds familiar, doesn’t it? How many times in our lives do we take our eyes off of Jesus because we notice things are going wrong all around us. How many times have we ever taken our focus off of God, then begin to sink? Loss of faith starts with a change of focus. Fear makes us make the worst decisions we can ever make!
- The Object of Faith: verse 30 says Peter cried out to Jesus saying “Lord, save me.” Peter was afraid, terrified for his life. He knew Jesus was right there, but he had taken his focus off Him. The Bible says in verse 31 “immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him….”. Jesus didn’t let Peter sink and drown. Jesus didn’t make Peter wait for a few minutes or even a few seconds. Jesus didn’t say to Peter, “What’s wrong with you, I’m right here?!” No, Jesus IMMEDIATELY put his hand out and caught Peter. Just as Jesus saved Peter, He saves us. He is always there to catch us when we sink, He’s always there to help us. God wants to help us all, He is ready and willing to help us. How willing are you to focus on God and let Him help you?
When we get saved, we become a new person in Christ. However, we can’t forget completely the old person we were. What do we need to remember about who we once were?
5 Realities of Our Past Lives to Remember, Romans 6:20-21
- Your Past Identity: vs. 20 calls us “servants of sin”. An unbeliever isn’t someone who chooses to sin occasionally, they choose to sin often. Sin has power over an unbeliever. Remember that now you are saved, you are a NEW person in Christ, don’t fall into the sinful ways of the way you used to live in the past.
- Your Past Hopelessness: vs. 20 says “ye were free from righteousness”. When we were lost, we were certainly not righteous. When we’re under the power of sin, we are not under the power of God. Life seems hopeless, and we have to realize that our only hope is in Christ Jesus. Life is lonely without the presence of God!
- Your Past Vanity: vs. 21 says “what fruit had ye”. This word ‘fruit’ means ‘benefit’. What benefit do we have from our sins? What good did our sins do for us? Sin is unsatisfying. Only the love of God, His mercies, His grace, will benefit us, not sin. We get so wrapped up in thinking what we have done is good – without God, NOTHING is good.
- Your Past Confusion: vs. 21 states “whereof ye are now ashamed”. Before salvation, we viewed sin differently than we do after salvation. As a born again believer, we realize what sin does to our lives. We see that sin took us down a dark, troubled road, and that turning away from our sin and turning to God changed everything.
- Your Past Destination: vs. 21 the Bible tells us “For the end of those things is death”. This does not mean a physical death, it means a spiritual death. We are saved from the worst punishment imaginable once we accept Christ. We all deserve the terrible fate of Hell, but Jesus gave us eternal life when He died on the cross! Remember, as a born again Christian you are saved from the fiery pits of Hell! Jesus loves you, He gave Himself willingly for you. Before we accept Him as our Savior, we are headed towards Hell, but once we accept Him as our only Savior, we are Heaven bound!
As Christians, how should we show caution towards sin? God warns us to stay away from sin, be separate from the world….but how? In the book of Psalm 101:3-4, David shows us how.
Three Steps to Show Caution Towards Sin
- Have David’s Determination: verse 3 says “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes…” David did not let himself be tempted. He decided beforehand to be careful and not allow sin to take over his life. We need to guard ourselves against sin. If you don’t let sin be set in front of you to tempt you, you won’t be as tempted to sin. If we aren’t careful, sin will take over our lives.
- Have David’s Desire: verse 3 says “I hate the work of them…” – David did NOT hate the person who committed the sin, he hated the sin itself. The ‘work’ is the sin. Our desire motivates our actions – for the most part, we do what we want to do. If we want to give in to sin, we will. If we don’t want to give in to sin, we will try extra hard not to. The phrase “…it shall not cleave to me” means that the sin would not stick to David. Sin will attach itself to us, David did not want sin to stay with him. If we aren’t careful, sin will stick to us and it’s even harder to get rid of it.
- Have David’s Detachment: verse 4 says “A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person…” David is referring to people who would influence him in a bad way and bring him down. Remove yourself from sin and those who do it. If we can’t detach ourselves from sin, it WILL pull us down. If we stay away from it, sin will have a much harder time working its way into our lives.
Bro. Doug Underwood 10.28.18
What do we know about God’s love? In Romans 5:5-11, we can find more than we ever knew!
1. The Power of God’s Love – verse 6 says “when we were without strength”. We can’t and do NOT have the power to save ourselves. Christ’s love for us was the motivation for Jesus to die on the cross. His love is unlimited!
2. The Depth of God’s Love – verse 7 points out a that even a righteous person would very rarely give themselves for someone they love, but in verse 8 we see that Christ sacrificed Himself for us. Not only sacrificed, but willingly sacrificed. Would you sacrifice yourself for someone you love and know, let alone someone who you didn’t know?
3. The Accomplishment of God’s Love – verse 9 shows us that God’s love is more than being able to save us. He gives results with His love. “Justified by His blood” even though we sin every day. “Saved from wrath” means that God’s love justifies us so that we don’t have to be haunted by the guilt of our sins. Justice is what we deserve, but mercy is what God shows us. God gives us the escape from our sins, He freed us from it!
4. The Reciprocation of God’s Love – verses 10-11 says we are reconciled to God through His Son’s death. In verse 11 the “joy in God” – Jesus was happy to die for us. Brag on God, brag on His love. He loved us first, we don’t have to work for His love or try to earn it. Recognize God for His love and praise Him for it. No love has ever or will ever have as much power as God’s love.
How well do you KNOW Jesus? We say we ‘know’ Him, but the apostle Paul really spells it out for us in the book of Phillippians in chapter 3.
- The Depth of Christ – Phillippians 3:10 says ‘that I may know him”. Paul wanted a close relationship with God. We don’t need to just know ABOUT God, we need to know Him personally.
- The Power of Christ – Paul says ‘power of His resurrection’. Paul wanted to know the reason and power of God’s love. God can do anything, as we see inJeremiah chapter 10. Jesus can raise up from the dead, and love us even though we sin against Him every single day. He can do the impossible, no power compares to God’s!
- The Suffering of Christ – Paul points out the ‘fellowship of His suffering’. The word ‘fellowship’ means participation. We are the reason Jesus suffered the cross. We are the whole reason He willingly went. Understanding how and why Jesus suffered for us will bring us closer to Him. Are you willing to suffer for Christ as He suffered for you?
- The Submission of Christ – Lastly, Paul mentions ‘comformable unto His death”. This phrase means having the obedient spirit that Jesus Himself had when He went to the cross. Jesus submitted Himself to God’s perfect will. He prayed in the garden, not for His own will to be done, but for His Father’s will to be done. Even though Jesus knew it would be a horrible, grusome death, He didn’t let that stop Him. He didn’t let that change His mind. God made us to be submissive to Him – will you submit yourself to Him?
Thank you Bro. Nate Gerwitz for this wonderful sermon. Join us Sunday morning at 10:45 AM, we would love for you to visit with us!
Three Ways We See the Sufficiency of God – Psalm 23, God is our Shepherd
- The Provision of God – “He maketh me” is a powerful phrase. God specifically leads us. “Green pastures and still waters” refer to our physical needs. Just as sheep don’t always know which path to take so the shepherd leads them, God leads us. As his ‘sheep’, we don’t always know what’s best for us, but our Shepherd certainly does. He will provide for us and restore us.
- The Protection of God – In verses 4 and 5 we find the phrase “thou art with me”. God will always provide for our spiritual needs, not just our physical needs. He provides protection through His presence, comfort, and blessings. Can anyone or anything comfort us as much as God’s love and God’s presence?! No.
- The Permanence of God – He is ALWAYS there. God isn’t just there in the bad times. He isn’t just there in the good times. God is ALWAYS with us. No matter if it’s a good day or bad day, a horrible time or a jubilant time, no matter how lonely life is or how boring we may think it is, God is always there. He will never leave us.
Preached by Bro. Nate Gerwitz on 114th Homecoming 9/9/2018
Recognizing God Part 2, Psalm 105: 2-5
In continuation from last week’s message, here is the second part of the series “Recognizing God”.
- Recognize God through song – vs. 2 of Psalm 105 tells us “sing unto Him”. The word “psalms” means to play stringed instruments. He wants us to sing, play, and glorify Him. Not only just to sing, but the psalmist also says “talk ye of all His wondrous works”. Plain and simple, tell others about God’s goodness! In verse 3 we see the word “glory” which means to brag, so brag on God in songs.
- Recognize God through pursuit – In vs. 3-4, the phrase “Seek the LORD” says it clearly. He wants us to go out of our way to look for Him, God feels recognized when we go after Him. Don’t just look to Him at church, seek Him in your every day life. In verse 4 we find the phrase “and His strength”. Life is hard. We NEED God. We NEED His strength. The Bible says when we are weak, He is strong. God will always be there to strengthen us, other things will not. “Seek His face” means to look for His favor and presence. When we do that, our result is joy! The Bible says “let the heart of them rejoice”. God doesn’t want us to look for Him and still feel empty, He wants to fill our soul and us be happy.
- Recognize God through remembering – vs. 5 says “Remember His marvelous works”. Not just declare or tell others what God has done, but remember it. Don’t forget what prayers God has answered and the things He has done. “Wonders” means miracles – God still performs miracles! Look at the miracles He has done in your own life. So many times, we can get busy and focus on a prayer we don’t think was answered. God wants us to remember all the prayers He has answered, remember all of the great things He has done for us, and to know there is still more yet to come!
Recognizing God, Part 1 Psalm 105:1
We often forget to recognize God and easily take Him for granted. Here are three of the seven ways we can recognize Him in our daily lives.
- Thankfulness – Psalm 105:1 says “O give thanks”. When we are thankful to someone, we make them feel valued and important. He wants us to appreciate Him, to honor Him. God says there shall be no other god before Him, so we don’t need to put something ahead of him as far as importance. Put it in perspective – if we sacrificed something over and over for someone we love, but we got no recognition for it, how would we feel? How would YOU feel if gave someone your all, but never got a simple “thank you” in return?
- Dependence – Psalm 105:1 also says “call upon His name”. To ‘call on’ someone means to ask them for something. By depending on God, we’re telling Him we know He will take care of us. When we depend on God, he feels valued. He wants to be our first resort, NOT the last. So many times, we get busy and caught up in life that we forget to go to God. Don’t just go to Him when something is wrong, go to Him and praise Him in the good times as well. He wants us to be comforted by Him, call out to God and know that He wants to supply our needs.
- Declaration – The last portion of Psalm 105:1 says “make known His deeds among the people”. This is quite simple – tell others about God’s goodness! Don’t keep it to ourselves, TALK ABOUT HIM. In the book of Acts, John and Peter were both tortured for declaring God. We need to be bold just as the disciples were. To “make known His deeds” means to talk about how good God has been to us. Tell others how much God has blessed us. So many have a false belief that Christianity is all rules and restrictions. This couldn’t be more untrue! Christianity is a relationship WITH God, not just following rules from God. Has God been good to you? Has He blessed you with a job, family, a home, health? If your answer is YES, then tell others about it!
Five Promises That God Gave Joshua
Joshua 1:3-5 KJV
Has the weight of this world got you down? Do you feel like there no one there listening to your needs and your wanting help? Let’s look and see what God promised Joshua and those same promises still ring true today.
- The purpose will be fulfilled – V#3:
- God Said, “I have given unto you”.
- He asks us to step out on faith, he promises to supply.
- He will make sure the purpose is accomplished.
- The obstacles will be overcome – V#5:
- God knew there would be battles & obstacles. God wanted Joshua to step out in faith and trust Him.
- God’s promise was permanent, He never leaves us.
The Presence of God will be felt – V#5:
- God said He was with Moses and He will be with Joshua and he will be with you and me.
- It is encouraging to know that He is always there for us.
- There are so many examples in the Bible of God’s presence through trials and in peace.
- The Ability of God will Be Seen – V#5:
- “I will not fail thee”, God promises that he will always be there for us.
- Without God’s ability we have nothing.
- So many times, we do nothing and stop and loose our focus on God.
- But he is always there for us and shows his abilities time and time again for us.
- He will not fail us, focus on God and not the problem.
- God’s ability is bigger than any problem or situation you may be going through right now!
- The Faithfulness of God will be Eminent – V#5:
- “Nor forsake thee” He promise he will never leave us, EVER.
- God will not abandon us.
- Our friends and this world will, but God never will.
- He promises to be with us all the time not part of the time.
Here’s a tender subject – STRESS. Are you a worrier? Do you fret? Here’s 5 things The Bible tells us how to handle stress…
1. Focus and Pursue God – Mark 10:27 tells us that with God, NOTHING is impossible.
2. Focus on Your Mindset – Phillippians 4:8 tells us to focus on things that are good, honest, just, pure, lovely….Don’t focus on the problem, focus on the solution which is God! Half the battle with stress is in our mindset.
3. Focus on Your Life – Did you know that living a life filled by walking with God will bring you peace? Fill your life with Him, it won’t leave room for the baggage of stress.
4. Focus on the Purpose – Every life experience has a purpose, even the stressful ones. God uses every experience to teach and mold us, to make us better. If we understand that the trial we are facing is to better us, it’s not so hard. He tells us after we suffer a while, every issue has an end – it won’t last forever.
5. Focus on the Relationship – Romans 8:35 tells us NOTHING, no person no thing, can separate us from God’s love. No matter how stressed we are, He is ALWAYS there.
Thank you Bro. Nate Gerwitz for this fantastic message that we all need to hear. Join us in the morning at 10:45 and worship with us!