Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Two valued elements in business dealings

Two Key Components

Our family has its share of medical issues. Outside of the hassles of dealing with chronic health problems, are the issues of paying medical bills.  A year ago we paid a ENT doctor $400 for putting a very small tube in my college son’s ear. This took all of 10 minutes once the decision was made. In my less spiritual moments my undefined bucket list urge is to one day outrageously charge a doctor, dentist, plumber, auto mechanic for some minor service.

Whether you are hiring a doctor, plumber, mechanic, financial planner, et... you want desire two key elements within one of these individuals.

You want character and competency.

You want to be able to trust the person that you have hired that they are able to do the jog that you want done. When we had trouble with our old minivan years ago, I took it to the dealer where we had purchased it.  It became clear after a few expensive, but fruitless visits that they either did not know what they were doing or they were trying to drain as much money out of us as possible.  There may have been a combination of factors.  Two years later I found a more competent mechanic and I gave him my business until he moved away.

Reading online reviews of businesses is a mixed bag at best. Even pay for review sights have a lot to be desired.

If you find honest and competent people doing a good job, let them know you appreciate their services.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Pay-Day Someday Dr R.G. Lee

DR R.G. Lee preached the sermon Pay-Day Someday more than 1,200 times over many decades at Bible conferences, in state capitol buildings, churches, universities, youth camps, and ballparks across the nation and around the world.  At the time of his death on July 20, 1978, an estimated 3 million people had heard him preach Pay-Day Someday. He used the story of Jezebel and Ahab murdering Naboth to get his vineyard[I Kings 21] to hammer home the point of Pay-day Someday. We are accountable to God.

Here is a link to the youtube sermon (video poor, sound ok) of R.G. Lee. Enjoy..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNoMuCspTKE  {copy and paste link}

Outline:"You Have to Serve Somebody” Luke 16:1-13 April 26th , 2015

“You Have to Serve Somebody” Luke 16:1-13 April 26th , 2015

As stewards of what God has entrusted to us

I. Remember that there will be a pay-day someday (1-2)

1 He also said to the disciples,
“There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions.
2 And he called him and said to him,
‘What is this that I hear about you?
Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’

II. Act shrewdly with the resources under our control (3-7)
3 And the manager said to himself,
‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me?
  I am not strong enough to dig, and
  I am ashamed to beg.
4 I have decided what to do,
 so that when I am removed from management,
         people may receive me into  their houses.’
5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first,
    ‘How much do you owe my master?’
6 He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’
He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’
7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’

III. Develop Spiritual wisdom which matches or exceeds the wisdom of the world (8)
8 The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness.
  “For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.”

IV. Use them (our resources) with an eternal perspective for the Kingdom of God (9)
9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

V.  Be responsible in the little things and God will use you for greater things (10-12)
10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?
12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?    

VI. Serve the only Master (BOSS) who really counts (13)
13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Outline “Enter by the narrow gate” Matthew 7:13-14

 “Enter by the narrow gate” Matthew 7:13-14 - April 19th 2015
I.  Jesus was full of grace and truth             John 1:14
John 1:14 (ESV)
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:17 (ESV)
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

But what does grace and truth look like through Jesus Christ?
II. Two examples of this from Jesus
A The woman caught in _adultery
John 8:3-11 (ESV)
9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.
10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

B. The wealthy chief _Tax collector

Luke 19:8-10 (ESV)
8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”
9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

We are called to   “Enter by the narrow gate”

III. Jesus describes two gates concerning eternal destiny

A. The Broad Way that leads to destruction
Matthew 7:13 (ESV)
13 For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
Examples of those on the broad path
A. The Self-Professed Righteous
Luke 11:42-46 (ESV)

B. The  Religious     
Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV)

C. The Profane       
Psalm 53:1 (ESV)
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.
D. The Practical Atheist    
Proverbs 16:25 (ESV)
25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

B.  The Narrow Way that leads to Eternal Life
Matthew 7:14
14} But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

IV. What it looks like to be on the narrow path.
A. The relationship between Faith and Works    

Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

B. The issue is possessing Christ.  
Eternal life is complete in knowing Jesus Christ.
1 John 5:9-13 (ESV)

If we are going in the wrong direction, we need to turnaround.

IV.  The Great Turnaround
A. The Call to Repent and Believe 
Mark 1:14-15 (ESV)
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God,
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

B. The Call to be concerned       
Romans 10:1-4 (ESV)

Proverbs 9:10)  "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

No Guarantees as a Parent

Many years ago I was a volunteer police chaplain, I would go on ride-a-longs with police officers every 2 or 3 weeks. One call was regarding a father whose teenage daughter had run away. During the conversation, I gave the father the number of the “Tough love” organization. “Tough love” is a network of parent support groups for parents having difficulties with children. I had received the number from the parent of a rebellious teenager. While it didn’t help his own teenager turn around, it did help the father cope better.

A few months later we attended some meetings in Denver and heard Henry Blackaby speak. He is the author of the “Experiencing God” workbook.  He talked about his own prodigal son. He tried tough love and it didn’t work. He said His son  needed love and acceptance.

Probably the greatest need in those difficult situations is discernment.

Responding to rebellion is a challenge for any parent. My sister and I were very much on our own during our teenage years. Our parents were consumed with their own angst. We didn’t have too much to rebel against. My own fear bad consequences kept me out some potentially negative situations.

The greatest need in those difficult situations is expressing love in a discerning matter.

Sometimes  parents ‘rescue’ their children out of the consequences of their poor choices. The saddest funeral I ever conducted was for a 40 year old man whose parents always bailed him out of the consequences of his poor choices.  He never had to learn to be responsible. This ultimately hurt himself, his wife and children.

An older friend whose rebellious son many years ago did drugs was arrested. He called his mother and dad to bail him out. They let him stay in a jail for a few days. Those days of staring at gray bars and walls provided an impetus for a spiritual awakening in his life. If his parents had come to early, they might have truncated what the Lord was wanting to do in his life.

There are no guarantees in life. A parent can make all the right choices, a child still grow up to make a lifetime of poor decisions as an adult.

A former basketball coach said something memorable on the radio years ago about basketball that has a lot of application to parenting. He said that coaches get too much credit when the team is playing well. And they that they also too much blame when the team is playing poorly. That comment has direct application to parenting. A parent gets too much credit when the children do well and they get too much blame when the children do poorly.

We still must make the best choices that we can.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Outline for next Sunday: The Parable of the Loving Father Luke 15

“The Parable of the Loving Father”
Luke 15:11-32
April 12th , 2015

I. The Loving Father [11]
11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons.

II. The Prodigal Youngest Son [12-24]

A. An insensitive demand for his inheritance and journey to a far country (12-13a)
12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.
13 a Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country,

B. A squandered inheritance used up in reckless living (13b-14a)
13b  and there he squandered his property in reckless living.
14 And when he had spent everything,

C. Crushing circumstances and desperate measures (14b-16)
14b a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need.
15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs.
16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

D. The distress of life created an opportunity for a spiritual awakening (17-19)
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’

E.  The experience of forgiveness and restoration leads to celebration (20-24)
20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.
23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

III. The Begrudging Older Brother
A.   Anger over his father’s reception of his prodigal brother (25-28a)
25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.
27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’
28 But he was angry and refused to go in.

 B. The loving father’s plea to the older brother to join the celebration (28b)
28b His father came out and entreated him,

C. The older brother’s list of complaints to his father (29-30)
29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.
30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’

D. The father’s love for the older son and the need to celebrate the brother’s return (31-32)
31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

Monday, April 6, 2015

Outline: "Lord, Save Me!" April 5th 2015

"Lord, Save Me!"
Matthew 1:21; Acts 16:31; 2 Tim 1:9; Phil 2:12-13;1 John 3:1-3
April 5th , 2015

The Gospel as declared by the Apostle Paul
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (ESV)
1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you,
which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

The Relevancy of the Gospel -what does it mean to us?
Romans 1:16 (ESV)
16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

 Who was responsible for the death of Christ?

Divine responsibility. Isaiah 53:6
Isaiah 53:6 (ESV)
6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV)
 21  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Hebrews 9:14 (ESV)
14  how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Satanic Responsibility
Genesis 3:15 (ESV)
15  I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

John 13:27 (ESV)
27  Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”

 Human responsibility
Acts 2:22-23 (ESV) 22  “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—
23  this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

Acts 4:27-28 (ESV) 27  for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28  to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

Ways in Which We are “Saved”
I. Lord – Save Me!  - from Physical harm 
Acts 27:20 (ESV)
20  When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.

Hebrews 11:7 (ESV)
7  By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household.

II. Lord- Save Me! – in a general spiritual sense.
Matthew 1:21 (ESV)
21  She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

III. Lord- Save Me!   –   For the Christian
there is a past, a present, and a future sense of salvation for the Christian.

A.  Past – salvation from the penalty of sin: justification
Acts 16:31 (ESV)
31  And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

2 Timothy 1:9 (ESV)
9   who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,

III. Lord- Save Me!   –   For the Christian
B.  Present – salvation from the power of sin:  sanctification
Philippians 2:12-13 (ESV)
12  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence,
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
13  for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

III. Lord- Save Me!   –   For the Christian
C. Future – salvation from the presence of sin:  glorification
1 John 3:1-3 (ESV)
1  See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
2  Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
3  And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
Philippians 3:20-21 (ESV)
20  But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21  who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter - the last word

From Paul Hovey

 "The simplest meaning of Easter is that we are living in a world in which God has the last word. On Friday night it appeared as if evil were the master of life. The holiest and most lovable One who had ever lived was dead and in His tomb, crucified by the order of a tyrant without either scruples or regrets. He who had raised the highest hopes among men had died by the most shameful means. A cross, two nails, a jeering mob of debauched souls, and a quick thrust of a spear had ended it all. Those hours when His voice was stilled and His hands were quiet were the blackest through which the race has ever lived. If Caesar could put an end to Jesus, then no man could ever dare aspire or hope again. Hope, in such a world, could be nothing better than a mockery. Then came Easter morning and the glorious word: "He is risen!" And evil's triumph was at an end. Since that hour when Mary in the garden first discovered the staggering fact of victory, no man whose heart was pure and whose labors were honest has ever had reason to fear or despair if he believed in the Resurrection."
   Paul Hovey

   --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 166.