We had a very busy but special day together in the Lord this week. The Sunday service was capped off with an observance of the Lord’s Supper. The audio may seem to have an odd ending place because I cut it before we moved to the Lord’s Supper. The sermon is about parables and why Jesus used them to teach. You can follow along in the notes below. May God richly bless you through His Word.
To What Can It Be Compared?
Sermon notes 1/30/11
Matthew 13:10-17; 34-52
The Point of a Parable – v. 34-35
Simplify – a singular point
Those who can hear – understand
This isn’t about hiding knowledge
Parables are a teaching aid
Parable quick lessons – v. 36-50
Do not discriminate – Matthew 7:1
Wheat and the Tares
Net full of fish
Discern true value – Matthew 6:25-34
Hidden treasure – found accidentally
Pearl of great price – found deliberately
New and Old together – v. 51-52
Training for the Kingdom – discipleship to maturity
Let me be brutally candid. I am lazy. I used to read through Proverbs every month when I was a younger man and every last one of those proverbs about laziness used to feel like a 2×4 between the eyes. If work can be avoided, I probably know how to do it best, but let me add something to this. I am not as I once was. God’s been working on me, to make me what I ought-ta be as the saying goes.
I mentioned in a previous post that my word for this year is growth, and as scary as it may be for my psyche, some of my recent growth is coming in this very area. I tend to work by deadline. I calculate how long something will take and wait until the last minute to start. For those who might not behave this way, I will let you know that it is a dangerous way to go. Inevitably, Murphy shows up without an appointment and demands full attention and shoots the whole plan down the tubes and I almost never get a chance to utter my favorite A-Team line because the plan never comes together. Even worse there is another problem with this M.O. that I know about, but have traditionally preferred to ignore.
It comes from that age-old saying: idle hands are the devil’s playground. When I push nearly everything off to some imagined “starting point of no further procrastinating,” it tends to leave a lot of extra time that has no other purpose, which I find inevitably leads to trouble (and not always just the kind with a capital T that rhymes with P and stands for pool).
And please understand that I am not saying that doing nothing is always bad. Doing nothing has a place and time; we are commanded to rest every week after all. There is value in taking a break. I am just relearning the value of making sure that idle hands are kept in their proper place. It is growing in me.
For several years, my sister has launched each new year with a single word. It is a word that defines the year to come I suppose. I am so used to this now that I even asked her a few weeks ago what her word for this year was. At the time she didn’t have it, but that has “changed” in the meantime. I encourage you to read her blog if you have never checked it out before. Over the last couple of weeks though, I have been praying and studying and God has challenged me quite a bit. I went back and reread my sister’s post linked above and then decided to go and read the other blog that she had linked in that post. It was another blogger who does this “one word” thing and this year it has caught on in a thematic way with many people. I am not one that normally jumps on with trends or things like that, but something in this spoke to me. After some more prayer and thought, I have decided to throw my own word in the arena. The word that God placed on my heart: GROWTH.
It carries some serious irony as I am actively trying to “get smaller” by losing weight, but this growth is obviously intended spiritually. And a funny analogy comes to mind, because in the way of the Kingdom we can only grow as we shrink, if you get my drift. So, I look forward to the ways in which God will chose to bring growth in my life and I also realize that growth can bring pain and adjustment and challenges of its own. Here’s to growth.
God is so very good. I had a sermon all prepared for Sunday and then wound up changing the whole thing Saturday night/Sunday morning. I say that so you will understand why there are no notes on this week’s message post. The message is taken primarily from the text of Matthew 6:5-15 for those who like to follow along in your Bibles (which I highly encourage by the way). May God richly bless you through His Word.
Are You Fruity?
Sermon notes 1/23/11
The Call to Bear Fruit – Luke 3:7-20
What does “bear fruit” mean
Romans 7:4-5 – results of way of life
Unfruitful – Ephesians 5:11; Romans 6:20-23
Good fruit – Luke 3:8; Galatians 5:22-23
Why did this man die?
It isn’t wrong – James 4:13-17
The Concern of No Fruit/Bad Fruit
Luke 13:6-9; 3:9; Jude 1:10-13; Psalm 52
Man is the tree of the field – Deuteronomy 20:19-20
Cut down the ones that don’t bear fruit
Judging a tree by its fruit – Matthew 7:15-20
The Comfort of Good Fruit – John 15:1-17; Isaiah 11:1
Bearing fruit requires the vine – Jesus – John 15:5
Bearing fruit requires water – Psalm 1; Jeremiah 17:7-8; Isaiah 55:10-13 – water is the Word of God
We had a wonderful time Sunday morning. I was expecting that the weather might hamper the ability of some of our folks to make it, but that wasn’t the case. The sermon this week comes primarily from Luke 12. You can follow along with the notes below. May God richly bless you through His Word.
The Parable of Possessing Possessions
Life isn’t about what we have
There is nothing wrong with having things
Things must not have you
A Word about planning ahead
Why did this man die?
It isn’t wrong – James 4:13-17
Use wealth usefully – Luke 12:22-34
God does bless materially – Luke 12:30-31
Bless as you are blessed – Luke 12:33-34
Keep an eye on the future – Luke 12:35-48
Your time will come – Hebrews 9:27
Showing understanding and responsibility – Luke 12:42-44
We had a great time in the Lord this week. I am so blessed to be a part of this family of God. The message this week is about living life different than the rest of the world. Call it upside down or backward if you want, but it is really the only way that is upright. I am linking a video from youtube below the sermon that is the song I refer to at the beginning of the sermon (I sang this for special music before preaching, the video is of the original artist’s recording and not me). Sermon notes are available below the song video. May God richly bless you through His Word.
Note: I see that the video won’t play back embedded here, you can still listen to the song at youtube if you would like.
Well, we kicked the new year off this past Sunday with a renewed focus toward the ministry that God is directing our church, which is to be faithful and intentional in making disciples. You will likely hear some more messages along this same theme as we go through the next few months. I encourage you to think about what it means to both be a disciple and to make disciples in your own place of ministry, wherever God has placed you. May you be richly blessed through His Word.
Matthew 18:1-7; 19:13-15
Sermon notes 1/2/11
Faith like a child – Matthew 18:1-4
This isn’t blind faith
Not completely figured out (Teachable)
Learning – must be taught
Not a permanent state – 1 Corinthians 13:11; 14:20