Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Don't Give Up!

Qualities of Godly People #1
GENESIS 2:7-8, 15-25; 3:17-24

 “George Washington fought nine major battles in the Revolutionary War. He lost six of these battles but won the war.”

“The man who cannot survive bad times will not see good times.”

The struggles that Adam faced are far from numbered or recorded. Yet, the ones we know are astounding for example,

1. His feelings of Failure, as a spiritual leader, when Eve was enticed and sinned (Ge 3:6)

Ge 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Ge 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life;

2. His own personal spiritual failure (Ge 3:6 & 11)

Ge 3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou [wast] naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

3. His disqualification and lost opportunity to serve God in a very unique way

Ge 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

4. His personal feelings of being duped by the Devil

Ge 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

5. His feelings of failure and inadequacy as a parent

Ge 4:8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

6. His brokeness over the death and loss of a godly son & a rebellious son

(He had to find his son’s dead, bludgeoned & bloody body and then he had to dig the grave and bury his son)

Ge 4:8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

7. The consequences of a sin cursed world and its toll on his and Eve’s bodies

Ge 5:5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

“By perseverance the snail reached the Ark.” -Spurgeon

“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins - not through strength, but through perseverance.”

“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20thJulie Andrews

Pr 24:16 For a just [man] falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

“Fortitude and the power of fixing attention are the two marks of a great mind.”

So, the question must come to mind how did he continue his life with all the heart aches and disappointments he faced and experienced? I believe he learned three important eternal & unchanging truths about God that Satan could not duplicate or cover up. He learned about:

I. THE GOODNESS OF GOD Gen 2:8 “man became a living soul”

Ps 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD [is] good: blessed [is] the man [that] trusteth in him.

Ps 145:9 The LORD [is] good to all: and his tender mercies [are] over all his works.

He gave him:

A. Life Gen 2:7

Ge 2:7 And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

B. Paradise Gen 2:8

Ge 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

C. Authority Gen 1:26

Ge 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
1Sa 2:7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.

Ps 75:7 But God [is] the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

D. Favor

Ge 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof.

E. A Wife

Ge 2:20-25 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

II. THE GRACE OF GOD Gen 3:21 “...God make coats of skins, and clothed them”

1Co 15:21 For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.

Ge 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Ge 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Ge 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Ro 5:15 But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

2Ti 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which [was bestowed] upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

A. The Endowment of it is the exercise of God’s wisdom

Ge 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

B. The Essence of it is the expression of unmerited love

Ge 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Ge 3:8-9 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou?

C. The Effect of it is the experience of empowering strength

Ge 4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

Ge 5:5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

2Co 9:8 And God [is] able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all [things], may abound to every good work:

2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

III. THE GREATNESS OF GOD Gen 1:27 “God created man”

Ge 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

De 3:24 O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God [is there] in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?

Ps 77:13 Thy way, O God, [is] in the sanctuary: who [is so] great a God as [our] God?

Ps 135:5 For I know that the LORD [is] great, and [that] our Lord [is] above all gods.

Ps 145:3 Great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness [is] unsearchable.

A. Superiority

B. Authority

C. Worthiness

Monday, June 27, 2011

"What About Suicide?"

ACTS 16:23-34 Unfortunately, there have been several in my extended family who’ve committed suicide.
In 2006 (the latest year for which we have national statistics), there were 33,300 suicides in the U.S. (91.2 suicides per day; 1 suicide every 15.8 minutes). This translates to an annual suicide rate of 11.1 per 100,000.(source - www.suicidology.org)

Suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death. Suicide ranks third as a cause of death among young (15-24) Americans behind accidents and homicides

Kasey was only 16 years old when he ended his own life last May, 2001. We were heart broken and shocked beyond belief. He told no one that he was feeling sad or that he was thinking of ending his own life. This is unusual because 80% of people contemplating suicide do tell someone.

Beginning with that very second in which we discovered what our son had done, the small- but- powerful three- lettered question, "Why?!", relentlessly echoing over and over in all of the minds of those that knew our son or heard about his death. Amazingly only 10 to 15% of all suicides leave a note behind and yes, he did leave us a very short note just saying "Don’t blame anyone but me." which gave us little comfort.

Kasey was a good young man who never drank alcohol or used drugs. However many people will drink or use drugs in an attempt to end the pain they feel inside as a way of self medicating . There was no "sudden" change in our son’s personality or appearance, nor did he give any of his possessions away. He went to school every day and was often on the honor roll. He participated in the usual things that a normal teen would participate in during the last few days of his life. Saturday night he went bowling with a friend. Sunday, along with his family he visited his grandparents and went to church after which he accompanied a church leader to visit a homebound elderly lady. Monday he helped his family plant flowers for the city and went out for ice cream; he fertilized our lawn. But on Tuesday, after school and dinner, while the rest of the family was away, he ended his own life. Kasey’s mom - Stacy (adapted from www.Jaredstroy.com)

1 Kings 19:4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

Job 3:21 Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures;

Job 7:15 So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life.

Jeremiah 8:3 And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the LORD of hosts.

Jonah 4:3 Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.

Revelation 9:6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

Matthew 27:5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

This is an incredible event. A man experiencing extreme despair suddenly changed and experiencing extreme joy.

There are three movements of thought I want us to consider:

I. THE INSTIGATION OF HIS SUICIDE ATTEMPT 16:27 “seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.”

Here’s a man whose foundation was shaken to the core of his soul. His perception suddenly changed (no longer as a loved husband, needed dad and respected soldier) as he peered into a dark and seemly empty jail. For a moment his life was as dark, quiet and hopeless as the grave. His soul was as empty as the jail appeared to be. But thank God for the light that reveals the truth!

What are some of the forces that could incite a person to so suddenly give up on life. An:

A. Intense frustration (compilation of contributing events and circumstances)

We have no idea what had happen in his life prior to this event. There may have been many contributing factors that led to his decision. With the mention of his family so prominently in his post suicide attempt, I believe he was having some extremely serious family problems. It could have been his marriage, a problem teenager or even adult child, etc. We really have no idea and most people don’t when a person attempts or commits suicide.

B. Intimidating fear (a force to be reckoned with)

C. Insurmountable failure (failure that appears to be incapable of being overcome or dealt with)

D. Ill-favored future (his prospect of the future from his current perspective was loathsome and unwelcome - he had nothing to look forward to and what he did see he hated - a disgraced soldier!)

II. THE INTERVENTION TO HIS SUICIDE ATTEMPT 16:28 “But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.”

A man standing at the threshold of death, on the brink of eternity at the conclusion of the whole matter - and suddenly He experienced GRACE!

There is a tremendous weight of responsibility we carry as Christians having the solution to life’s greatest need.

Numbers 16:48 And he (Aaron) stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.

A. It took an act of God 16:26 “there was a great earthquake”

1. He prepared Paul and Silas before they were put in prison and were mistreated 16:25 “they prayed”


Acts 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

1 Peter 2:20 For what glory [is it], if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer [for it], ye take it patiently, this [is] acceptable with God.

2. He caused an earthquake
3. He restrained the prisoners
4. He restrained the guard

B. It took a spiritual minded person 16:25 “sang praises”

Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

C. It took a unselfish person 16:28 “do thyself no harm”

1 Corinthians 10:33 Even as I please all [men] in all [things], not seeking mine own profit, but the [profit] of many, that they may be saved.

D. It took a forgiving spirit 16:23 “when they had laid many stripes upon them”

I’m not so sure we can measure the amount of forgiveness it would have taken to have a forgiving spirit when you’ve just been thrown into maximum security and then put in stocks while your bleeding and wounded.

Mark 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.

E. It took a prepared soul winner 16:28 “do thyself no harm”

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

F. It took a genuine testimony 16:29 :”fell down before Paul and Silias”

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

This guard had previously heard out of the mouth of those imprisoned cursing and vile language - but these men were different. Are you different? Are you a solution to problems or are you a problem?

Romans 13:13-14 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].

Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

1 Peter 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

G. It took an act of faith 16:31 “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

III. THE INSIGHT FROM HIS SUICIDE ATTEMPT 16:34 “and rejoiced believing in God with all his house”

A. Jesus changed everything - no matter where you may be in life, Jesus can make the change you need.

God took an earthquake and shook a man to his core!

1. He was a ordinary man - married, had family and job

2. He was a callous man - soldier

3. He was a hurting man - would have killed himself

B. There are people who care - Paul and Silas - the church cares!

There could have been grief and pain and a broken family.

C. God has a great plan for your life - was the church a Philippi his doing?

D. It’s going to get better
Ask anyone who has attempted suicide and they will tell you how grateful they are that they didn’t succeed. Things will get better!

Psalms 30:5 For his anger [endureth but] a moment; in his favour [is] life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy [cometh] in the morning.

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory;

E. God truly loves you

Why Do We Sing In Church?

EXODUS 15:1-21
Evangelist Dennis Deese

A Baptist preacher and his wife decided to get a new dog. Ever mindful of the congregation, they knew the dog must also be a Baptist. They visited kennel after kennel and explained their needs. Finally, they found a kennel whose owner assured them he had just the dog they wanted.

The owner brought the dog to meet the pastor and his wife. "Fetch the Bible," he commanded.

The dog bounded to the bookshelf, scrutinized the books, located the Bible, and brought it to the owner.

"Now find Psalm 23," he commanded.

The dog dropped the Bible to the floor, and showing marvelous dexterity with his paws, leafed through and finding the correct passage, pointed to it with his paw.

The pastor and his wife were very impressed and purchased the dog.

That evening, a group of church members came to visit. The pastor and his wife began to show off the dog, having him locate several Bible verses. The visitors were very impressed.

One man asked, "Can he do regular dog tricks, too?"

"I haven't tried yet," the pastor replied.

He pointed his finger at the dog. "HEEL!" the pastor commanded. The dog immediately jumped on a chair, placed one paw on the pastor's forehead and began to howl.

The pastor looked at his wife in shock and said, "Good night! He's Pentecostal!"

When it comes to music and worship, we Baptist remind me of that couple!

Why do you think the Devil hates music in church so much? Because it reminds him of what he used to have and be!

Ezekiel 28:13 seems to indicate that Satan was involved with music in Heaven. The two Scripture passages that describe Satan before he fell are Ezekiel 28:12-19 and Isaiah 14:12-15. Satan was the “anointed cherub” (Eze 28:14). He was adorned with every precious jewel imaginable (Eze 28:13). He was “the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Eze 28:12b). Likely he was the highest of all angels. He was persuasive enough to convince one-third of the angels to join him in his rebellion (Rev 12:4). Even after his fall from heaven, not even Michael the archangel dares to stand up to him without the Lord’s help (Jude 9). Satan fell because of pride. He did not like being “second best”. He wanted to be God: “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain’” (Isa 14:13).

Was Satan the head musician? I don’t know. Scripture does not say enough about what his duties were in heaven. Considering the fact that the angels constantly worship God (Isa 6:3; Rev 4:8), it is possible that Satan led in worship. For Satan to rebel despite having such an exalted position and close relationship with God – the devil is surely due his eternal destiny (Rev 20:10). Adapted from Got Questions Ministries

We need to ascertain, discern and realize from scripture the:

I. EXAMPLES OF SINGING 15:1 “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord”

1. Regularly Employed

1Ch 9:33 And these [are] the singers, chief of the fathers of the Levites, [who remaining] in the chambers [were] free: for they were employed in [that] work day and night.

2. Assisted by a full Orchestra

1Ch 15:16 And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren [to be] the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.

1Ch 23:5 Moreover four thousand [were] porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, [said David], to praise [therewith].

2Sa 6:5 And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of [instruments made of] fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.

3. Choirs led by Precentor (music minister)

1Ch 15:27 And David [was] clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah (ken uh NIGH uh) the master of the song with the singers: David also [had] upon him an ephod of linen.

4. It led to the manifestation of God’s glory

2Ch 5:13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers [were] as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up [their] voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, [saying], For [he is] good; for his mercy [endureth] for ever: that [then] the house was filled with a cloud, [even] the house of the LORD;

5. They sang new songs

Ps 33:3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

Ps 40:3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, [even] praise unto our God: many shall see [it], and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

Ps 96:1 O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.

Ps 98:1 O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.

Ps 144:9 I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery [and] an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.

Ps 149:1 Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, [and] his praise in the congregation of saints.

Isa 42:10 Sing unto the LORD a new song, [and] his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.

Re 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

6. They sang in times of suffering

Ac 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

Jesus sang at the end of the Lord’s supper, before going to the cross and when He was betrayed

Mr 14:26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

II. EXHORTATION TO SING 15:1, 21 “I will sing unto the Lord”

Psalms 100:2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Psalms 81:1 <> Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

Psalms 95:1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

III. ESSENCE OF SINGING 15:1-21

Essentially the essence or motivation for singing is composed of three parts.

A. Adoration 15:1, 6-7

B. Appreciation 15:2,

Psalms 104:33 I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

Psalms 13:6 I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Ps 95:1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

C. Acclamation 15:3

1Pe 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

We’ve seen the exhortation, examples and the essence of singing in the Bible. What are you going to do now? Will you come before His presence with singing?

Psalms 100:2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.