Sun, Jul 30, 2017
Duration:37 mins 8 secs
Paul’s Pastoral Plea
Paul has been under attack from those who sought to undermine his apostolic authority and the sincerity of his love for the Corinthians. He apologetically wrote in defense of the validity of his calling and ministry as an apostle. He now proceeds to write about his love for them, and the concerns that he has for their spiritual condition. With the flaming darts of slander and accusations sticking out of his back, from deep in his heart he calls them “dearly beloved” (2 Corinthians 12:19). To call them beloved is a remarkable evidence of the love of God shed abroad in his heart towards them. He proceeds to tell them that the more he loved them, the less he was loved. How painful it is when the love you pour out to others and into others is despised or rejected. But Paul is driven by the love of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14).
He was accused of ripping the Corinthians off because he did not take any money from them like the false, pseudo teachers were doing. All that he did was for their edification. Because Paul told them things in his letters and previous visits that they did not want to hear, he was accused of being unloving and uncaring. Thus, in advance of a third visit, Paul tells them that he is concerned about their ungodly behavior. He is grieved over the fact that many of them have remained defiant in their sin, and ignored his apostolic admonitions of the need to repent. The sins that Paul lists in 2 Corinthians 12, verses 20 and 21 are sins that grieve The Spirit of God.
Lord Jesus, give us ears to hear and obey Your voice. Selah
Wed, Jul 26, 2017
Duration:59 mins 33 secs
Sun, Jul 16, 2017
Revelations, Thorns, and the Grace of God
Every child of God experiences his or her own version of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Every one of our lives is a mixture of good days, bad days, blessings, and bummers. But as followers of The Lord Jesus Christ, we can count on one thing to sustain us in and through all of those seasons - His wonderful, marvelous, and powerful grace. It was the grace of God that granted Paul visions and revelations that were so spectacular that he could not even write them down. But it was also the grace of God that sustained him and strengthened him when he was buffeted by a painful and demonic “thorn in the flesh”.
How vital it is for each of us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as the apostle Peter exhorts (2 Peter 3:18). It is not enough to know the academic doctrine of grace. It is not enough to be able to articulate the theological implications of the doctrine of grace. Grace is a Person and His Name is Jesus Christ. When we go to the throne of grace for help or wisdom in time of need (Hebrews 4:16), God gives us Himself as the supply of grace and help. Jesus doesn’t give us grace and a lecture. He gives us Himself, and in giving us Himself, He gives us abundant grace (John 1:17). So whether you are experiencing revelations from God or thorny attacks from the enemy, know this. God’s grace is sufficient for you and His strength is made perfect in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Wed, Jul 12, 2017
Duration:52 mins 18 secs
Sun, Jul 09, 2017
Duration:38 mins 4 secs
A Real Basket Case
Have you ever heard the saying, he or she is a real “basket case”? In our study this morning, the apostle Paul ends his credentials of being a genuine follower of Jesus Christ by referring to the time when he was let down the side of a wall in a basket to escape the wrath of those who wanted to do him in. From the very outset of his ministry to the end, there was never any letup to the afflictions and opposition he faced in his ministry of preaching the gospel and making disciples. You and I may not be called by God to face the same degree of challenges and opposition that Paul did, but we are all called to deny ourselves daily, pick up our crosses and follow Him. We are all called to endure difficulties and forgo conveniences for the cause of Christ and to care for one another.
The vast majority of Christendom today is far removed from the biblical example of sacrifice and care that was exhibited by the early followers of Jesus. If there is one word that is sorely lacking in today's church, it is the word sacrifice. It is both a noun and a verb. It describes the action of being a living sacrifice, of giving up oneself, for the cause of Christ and for the sake of others. All of Paul’s “credentials” were incidental things that he faced in the pursuit of the spreading the gospel and the daily care of all the churches. Because Paul knew the sacrificial love of Christ for him, he sacrificially cared for Christ’s bride, the Church.
What are your sacrificial credentials of being a follower of Jesus Christ? Selah
Wed, Jul 05, 2017
Duration:48 mins 27 secs
Sun, Jul 02, 2017
Duration:40 mins 16 secs
Our Singing Stronghold
What remarkable truths are found in God’s Word concerning His care for His children! Our main passages of our study this morning tell us that our God is not only our Stronghold in the day of trouble (Nahum 1:7), but that He also actually rejoices over us with joy (Zephaniah 3:17). Meditate on that last sentence for a moment. Let the truth of God saturate the very depths of your soul. Hear those truths in light of the context of the current circumstances in your life.
Thank God that we have a Stronghold for the times of trouble. The Proverbs declare that The Name of The Lord is a strong and mighty tower, the righteous run into it and are safe (Proverbs 18:10). But Zephaniah reminds us that The God Who is in our midst is mighty, and that He rejoices over us with singing. Incredible! I do not know about you, but in my times of trouble, I rarely think of Jesus rejoicing over me with singing because I am one of His sheep.
Beloved, cultivate the truth of Jesus being our Singing Stronghold. We may be troubled, but He is not. We may not feel like singing, but He is. As we come to The Lord’s Supper this morning, may we come with a renewed assurance of Christ’s presence, power, and saving grace. Selah
Wed, Jun 28, 2017
Duration:38 mins 57 secs
Sun, Jun 25, 2017
Duration:38 mins 37 secs
Messengers of Satan - Angels of Light
Ever since the fall of man, the world has been spiritually divided into two groups: those who are “begotten” of the spiritual seed of Cain, and those who are “begotten” of the spiritual seed of Abel.
Dear ones, the devil has ministers. They use the same language that you and I do as Christians, but underneath the mask of words is a different gospel and different Jesus. Do not be deceived, beloved. They are ministers of darkness in sheep’s clothing.
Sun, Jun 18, 2017
Duration:46 mins 24 secs
Today we are going to look at the beloved 23rd Psalm together. No other Psalm captures the caring heart of God for His children as does this Psalm. Our Father in this Psalm is portrayed as our Shepherd. As a shepherd cares for his flock, God our Father cares for every one of His children. He not only sees a multitude of sheep, He sees you, beloved. As you ponder this Psalm, hear the tone of Abba’s voice as if He were speaking to you alone. Jesus said that if you have seen Him, you have seen The Father.