God’s New Thing for Your New Year

Based on Isaiah 43:18-21

The passage we are reading is quoted out of context quite often. I have heard well-meaning Christians say, “God says He will do a new thing… well this is it!” But what exactly is it that Isaiah is talking about? Remember that Isaiah very accurately prophesied of the Babylonian captivity to come. He gives the reasons, the indictments for which God is bringing the captivity as judgment.

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Help Is On the Way

”Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” –James 5:8

Imagine yourself a Jew living in Palestine in the days leading up to the birth of Jesus. Like Anna and Simeon, you’ve been expecting Messiah to come any time. You’ve read the prophecy of Daniel which foretold the very day that Jesus would be rejected by Israel (the seventy weeks’ prophecy). Micah had recorded that the place would be Bethelehem. Perhaps you’ve even heard about the miraculous birth of the Messiah’s forerunner to an elderly priestly couple.

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The Point of No Return

”Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” –Hebrews 12:15-17

One of the hardest truths of Christianity to grasp is the teaching that there is a point of rejecting the will of God beyond which a man may never find repentance. Sin hardens the heart toward the things of God. When we are young, our hearts are tender, which explains in part why so many believers today came to Christ as children. As people progress through life without responding to God, His voice grows steadily silent to their souls. Eventually, through the deceitfulness of sin, their hearts are seared over and they will never repent.

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Prepare for History’s Greatest News

Christmas Sermon Series: God’s Christmas Messages to You, Part 4
Based on Luke 2:8-20

This is the fourth and final message in a series of Christmas messages based on the angelic appearances of the first Christmas. We’ve learned with Zechariah and Elizabeth to “prepare for the miraculous.” We’ve learned with Mary to “prepare to be God’s instrument.” We’ve learned with Joseph to “prepare to meet the Savior.” Today, we learn with the shepherds to “prepare for history’s greatest news.”

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Pray For Your Pastor

”Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” –Ephesians 6:18-20

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Prune Thyself

”For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” -1 Corinthians 11:31

Did your parents ever make that ludicrous comment to you, “If you don’t stop crying, I’m going to give you something to cry about?” I never really understood the logic behind that line of reasoning, especially when I was the direct object of the statement. When I read Paul’s words to the Corinthians, it suddenly makes more sense.Paul wrote to a church with severe moral problems within and they were doing nothing about those problems. There was no restorative discipline taking place, yet they came together for the Lord’s Supper as though everything was fine. Paul had the wisdom to foresee that God would judge them for their tolerance of sin, but there was a way they could avoid God’s judgment – handle the problem themselves.

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Sermon Brief: Prepare to Meet the Savior

Christmas Sermon Series: God’s Christmas Messages to You, Part 3
Based on Matthew 1:18-25

Joseph is an interesting Bible character for the simple reason that he plays a very significant role in the life of Jesus, but then he passes off the scene and is not mentioned beyond Jesus’ boyhood (Luke 2). Tradition has it that Joseph died before Jesus began His earthly ministry.

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Are You Dead Yet?

”For he that is dead is freed from sin.” –Romans 6:7

The comedian Ray Stevens didn’t like to sit up with the dead because sometimes “the dead start sittin’ up too.” In reality, a dead body cannot respond to any kind of stimuli whatsoever. You can speak to it, command it, coax it, or con it but it will never respond because a dead body is merely a lump of clay getting ready to turn back into dust.

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