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John Ortberg states:
"The decision to grow always involves a choice between risk and comfort. This means that to be a follower of Jesus, you must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of your life. And thatís sobering news to most of us, because weíre into comfort...but water walkers master failure... Did Peter fail?...Failure is not an event, but rather a judgment about an event. Failure is not something that happens to us or a label we attach to things. It is a way we think about outcomes...Did Peter fail? Well, I suppose in a way he did. His faith wasnít strong enough. His doubts were stronger. 'He saw the wind.' He took his eyes off of where they should have been. He sank. He failed. But here is what I think. I think there were eleven bigger failures sitting in the boat. They failed quietly. They failed privately. Their failure went unnoticed, unobserved, uncriticized. Only Peter knew the shame of the public failure. But only Peter knew two other things as well. Only Peter knew other things as well. Only Peter knew the glory of walking on water. He alone knew what it was to attempt to do what he was not capable of doing on his own, then feeling euphoria of being empowered by God to actually do it. Once you walk on water, you never forget it--not for the rest of your life!"
(Ortberg, If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat, page 21-23).
16. Our Thinking vs. Godís Promises.
a. We say- Itís impossible. God says- All things are possible with Me.
b. We- I canít do it. God- You can do all things through Christ.
c. We- Iím too tired. God- Come to Me, I will give you rest.
d. We- Iím always worried and frustrated. God- Cast all your cares on Me.
e. We- I canít go on. God- My grace is sufficient for you.
f. We- I canít figure things out. God- I will direct your steps.
g. We- Iím not able. God- I am able.
h. We- Itís not worth it. God- It will be worth it.
i. We- I canít manage. God- I will supply all your needs.
j. We- Iím afraid. God- I have not given you a spirit of fear.
k. WE- I donít have enough faith. God- Iíve given everyone a measure of faith.
l. WE- Iím not smart enough. God- I give you wisdom.
m. We- I feel all alone. God- I will never leave you or forsake you.
JOY IN THIS WORLD
Men have pursued joy in every avenue imaginable. Some have successfully found it while others have not. Perhaps it would be easier to describe where joy cannot be found:
Not in Unbelief -- Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: "I wish I had never been born."
Not in Pleasure -- Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure if anyone did. He wrote: "The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone."
Not in Money -- Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said: "I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth."
Not in Position and Fame -- Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: "Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret."
Not in Military Glory -- Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept in his tent, before he said, "There are no more worlds to conquer."
Where then is real joy found? -- the answer is simple, in Christ alone.
The Bible Friend, Turning Point, May, 1993. http://www.eSermons.com
Dr. S.M. Lockridge was the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, San Diego CA from 1953 - 1993. He entered heaven in 2000. He is well-known for a passage out of his sermon titled ďHeís My KingĒ:
ďHeís enduringly strong, Heís entirely sincere, Heís eternally steadfast. Heís immortally graceful. Heís imperially powerful. Heís impartially merciful. Heís Godís Son. Heís a sinnerís savior. Heís the centerpiece of civilization. He stands alone in Himself. Heís unparalleled. Heís unprecedented. Heís supreme. Heís preeminent. Heís the loftiest idea in literature. Heís the highest idea in philosophy. Heís the fundamental truth in theology. Heís the miracle of the age. Heís the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously. He supplies strength for the weak. Heís available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He guards and He guides. He heals the sick, He cleans the lepers. He forgives sinners, He discharges debtors, He delivers captives, He defends the feeble, He blesses the young, He serves the unfortunate, He regards the aged, He rewards the diligent, He beautifies the meek. Do you know Him?
Well, my king is the king of knowledge, Heís the well-spring of wisdom, Heís the doorway of deliverance, Heís the pathway of peace, Heís the roadway of righteousness, Heís the highway of holiness Heís the gateway of glory, Heís the master of the mighty, Heís the captain of the conquerors, Heís the head of the heroes, Heís the leader of the legislators, Heís the overseer of the overcomers, Heís the governor of governors, Heís the prince of princes, Heís the king of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
His life is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Well. I wish I could describe Him to you. But Heís indescribable. Yes. Heís incomprehensible. Heís invincible, Heís irresistible. Iím trying to tell you, the Heavens cannot contain Him, let alone a man explain Him. You canít get Him out of your mind. You canít get Him off of your hands. You canít outlive Him, and you canít live without Him. Well. The Pharisees couldnít stand Him, but they found out they couldnít stop Him. Pilate coul...
Joan of Arc said, when she was abandoned by those who should have stood by her, ďIt is better to be alone with God. His friendship will not fail me nor His counsel nor His love. In His strength I will dare and dare and dare until I die.Ē
WHITE AS SNOW
Ash Wednesday ó itís kind of a solemn day. Itís the start of Lent óa word which means ďspringĒ in German. But more than this, itís the time each year when we intently focus on the path Christ Jesus laid out for us to follow ó to be true to his word, true to his calling, and true to the faith, hope and life we share in him.
You know though, sometimes itís kind of hard to focus on spring when winter is in full force around us. Today itís been snowing, and within the past week alone, the mountains surrounding our communities have received over 50 inches of fresh snow. For, while weíre beginning to look forward to spring, we have still have to live in the reality that weíre still surrounded by the billions of fluffy white flakes from the Lordís heavenly storehouses.
Snow ó the bible speaks of it often, likening it to that which is pure, clean, and righteous. Truly, the crystal formations of snowflakes are beautiful. There are many different shapes and sizes of snowflakes; amazingly, each and every one is unique.
But despite their uniqueness, snowflakes have one common thing: dirt at the core. Oddly enough, snowflakes start as tiny dust particles, which serve as the center of the snowflake.
Like snowflakes, we have been beautifully created by God. We are the greatest of all Godís creation. We are his pride, and his joy; and like snowflakes we are all created uniquely. Yet, like snowflakes, we too have dirty hearts. Weíre all marked by sin; weíre all stained at the core of our being; weíre all dirty in the middle. But through Jesus Christ, we can all be made clean. The dirt at the core of our being can be washed way, and we can be made pure in Christ Jesus
ď The sense is, it is the Lord alone that saves and blesses: and even though the whole mass of all evils should be gathered together in one against a man, still, it is the Lord who saves: salvation and blessing are in his hands.Ē
JESUS- NOT HATE BUT HOPE
Itís a little name.
A small word.
Say this little name in public, however, in a way other than an obscenity, and stand back and watch the fireworks.
This little name is like a tiny detonator that triggers a nuclear warhead.
You can say "God," and you wonít get a squeak.
You can say "Our Father/Mother in Heaven," and few will flinch.
You can say "Great Spirit," and people will nod in approval.
You can say "Allah" and you will be deemed tolerant.
But say "Jesus" and just wait for the sonic boom.
Articles will appear in the paper. Reprimands will be posted from the home office. Suits will be threatened by the civil liberties block.
So donít say Jesus.
Jesus is divisive, and now is a time for unity.
Jesus is an extremist, and that must mean right wing.
Jesus is exclusive, so His name amounts to hate speech.
Keep His name to yourself. Cloister it in your church. Lock it in your prayer closet. Close it between the covers of your Bible. But for Godís sake, donít voice it in the public square!
Itís immodest. Itís immoral. Itís unloving.
Only one problem.
Jesus is God.
Only one problem.
Jesus alone brings salvation.
Only one problem.
All other gods are nothing.
So speak Hi...
Sermon Central Staff
THE PURPOSE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
N T Wright, the famous New Testament scholar talks about the task of Christians in the world. He says, "Many say, 'Oh yes, the Holy Spirit came in his place to live in us.' Yes, but for what purpose? The Holy Spirit came to empower us to be God's life in the world. We are to do the work of God in the world. We are to be God to the world. And we cannot do that alone. The church is God's redemptive community in the world. Without you, and without you joined with God's other children, God's work will not be done. He will not do it without us. He will not do it for us."
(From a sermon by Rodney Buchanan, The Message of Jesus, 11/16/2009)
Alvin Slaughter: Iím convinced more now than ever That we donít serve a god of the mundane But God of the supernatural You see, when we worship him in faith He will always meet us at the point of our needs Dry, fleshly worship is not enough Get ready, get ready to be completely drenched and covered by the power of the spirit For He alone is our peace God is all the power we need The power to make new, He has the power to save So today as we worship Him, I pray the power of God will fill your life to overflow with the latter rain. Itís the latter rain, Itís the latter rain