A Praying Man

(Gen.18 )                                                        (James 5:16-18) 

The time comes in History of all places like Sodom when God decides to act. America is in and has been in that position even as we speak. Before proceeding against Sodom God took Abraham into His confidence and revealed to His servant a new line of truth, apocalyptic truth, the truth concerning the impending overthrow of an utterly vile civilization.

The revelation of this truth was an interesting test of Abraham’s growth in grace and his increase in the knowledge and trust of God. How would a faithful, maturing, obedient child of God react to the truth that a holocaust of judgment is about to engulf a world of vile, reprobate, godless, society?

Jonah, when faced with apocalyptic truth was glad. He pondered the impending doom of Nineveh with glee, determined to do nothing. Jesus faced apocalyptic truth with tears as he could envision Jerusalem within a generation. Here; faced with apocalyptic truth, Abraham prayed.

  • Prayers position.
    • (V2) the wording here implies one moment there was nothing and the next, three men were there.
    • Notice there was no slothfulness on Abrahams’s part. ( Pr 3:27) ¶ Withhold not good from them to whom it is due when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.   
      • He seen an opportunity and acted upon it, and was rewarded.
      • We too often spend more time worrying about getting taken, or someone else has more to give, or even I have done my share its time someone else carries their weight, that we miss out on great opportunities to serve.
      • He made haste, he didn’t confer with others, and he put himself into a position to serve. He bowed himself. Laid prostrate before Him.
  • The preparation of prayer.
    • Abraham put himself in the way of God. He saw where He was and went to Him. Now he is planning on getting to know Him. Not just more about Him but know Him.
      • He calls out to his bride for help.
    • Now I feel that because of the twisted wicked world that has so invaded our minds there could be those who scoff at the idea of imposing on Sarah like this and those who twist Sarah’s part in this
      • Notice the transaction between this Godly man and his loving wife.
      • Abraham didn’t lay all the work on her. He didn’t feel he had more important things to do. He took care of the majority of the preparation of the meal. Why? It was his guest.
    • This is a major part of who this man of God was. Peter wrote of it ; (1Pe 3:7) Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
      • He led his household, by example.
      • The preparation of his prayer life started long before these men showed up in his front yard.
    • Abraham set aside a specific time, made preparation, saw to it himself, then reeled in the benefits that come from knowing God.
    • The Lord not only reminds him of the promise, the covenant He has made with him but now shares with Abraham an apocalyptic truth.
  • The petition or accountability of prayer
    • How does a faithful, maturing, obedient child of God react to the truth that a holocaust of judgment is about to engulf a world of vile, reprobate, godless, society? He prays.
    •  It is the first solemn prayer we have upon record in the Bible, and it is a prayer for the sparing of Sodom.
      •  Abraham, no doubt, greatly abhorred the wickedness of the Sodomites; he would not have lived among them, as Lot did, even if they would have given him the best estate in their country; and yet he prayed earnestly for them. 
      • (2Pe 3:9) ¶ The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
      • Though sin is to be hated, sinners are to be pitied and prayed for. God delights not in their death, nor should we.
    • So what is it with this man that God would share with him something like this?
      • We are told in the bible that he is known as a man of faith, he was called the friend of God(Jas.2:23) and we also know that no one pleases God except by faith. (Heb.11:6)
    • Hey did you know that as born-again believers that is exactly what we are known as? People of faith. (Eph 2:8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:    Did you also know we are known as Christ friends? (Jn 15:15)
      • Did it ever dawn on you just like Abraham God has given use apocalyptic truth?
  • The petition or accountability of the church in prayer.
    • How does a faithful, maturing, obedient child of God react to the truth that a holocaust of judgment is about to engulf a world of vile, reprobate, godless, society?
      • Well, maybe we should take Abraham’s example.
    • God has shared with us through many different passages of scripture the outcome. Those who continue to rebel against God and choose to serve sin will be forever damned.
      • He has warned us that a day is fast approaching when the church will be taken up or raptured. Then hell on earth is the only way to describe future events.
    • Abraham made haste. He didn’t wait around but went to the Lord. He prepared his heart by living what he believed. Then he faithfully petitioned the Lord.
    • The Lord kept his promise. Those who would listen he saved. 
  • Daddy’s letter.
    • How far have you gone? How much have you done with this knowledge of impending destruction?
    • How do you have to hate someone to hold back this truth?

The Family Unit

(Gen.1:26-28),

(Gen.2:18,21-24)

(Gen. 4)

We have seen the first created human beings becoming parents and raisng young’uns. A little while in this thing called life we see one becoming a murder. One being murdered. One turning to God.

We live in a society today that has little regard for the honor and sanctity of marriage as God designed it. In an effort to undermine the sacred values in which this great nation was founded on; Satan has made an all-out attack on the family. It is evidenced in the number of divorces among Christian families, the number of those who feel cohabitation is alright under certain circumstances. It is evidenced in the way God’s people have failed to esteem the lofty position of marriage and family due to compromise.

So the question is this. Is marriage is still viable in modern society? The answer is yes. Marriage is still the best Idea because it is God’s Idea. He created it, designed it, established it and define it parameters. God established marriage as a permanent relationship, the union of two separate people – a man and woman -Into “one flesh”. God established it as the first and most foundational and fundamental building block of society. The Bible contains God’s principles and plan for achieving quality and health in family life. If we want to experience marriage the way it was designed to be, first of all we need a vital relationship with God and also we must take very seriously the Bible as it relates to the family.

I would like for us to take a fresh look at God’s design for the family, to reestablish a Godly standard and perspective to this divine institution we are allowed to be a part of. I would like for those of us who have faltered in keeping with the Holy-Standards of God design for family to be road blocks, steering others away from the traps we have succumbed to.

  • Where did the idea of family originate? In the very heart of God.
    • In the Garden, God Himself instituted and ordained marriage at the very beginning of human history.
      • The world has no authority over marriage or what it consist of.
      • God did not create marriage to be an Alice and Eve or an Adam and Steve event. He created woman for man and man for women, and I for one am glad of it.
    • The homosexual agenda has invaded our homes through what is promoted as entertainment, our schools though fear of law suits, even our minds through the new toleration movement.
      • The world has deemed it an alternative lifestyle, whereas the bible has declared it as any other sin; rebellion against a Holy Creator.
    • Since the plan didn’t sweep across the world the way they had hoped for, there are many who still stand for the truth and teach it to their children and grandchildren, they had to devise another component to their plot.
      •  Gender neutral. 
    • The humanistic heterosexual movement of cohabitation has done just as much if not more damage.
      • Because it is not viewed in the same light as a homosexual couple it is more acceptable to many.
      •  Marriage is not a piece of paper or a ceremony. It is the creation submitting and surrendering to the ordain plan from the creator God.
      • Sadly, time and time again it has been proven that couples who live together have a higher rate of divorce, yet still they feel it wont happen to them.
    • The feminist movement (Gen 3:16) (that came out of women being tired of being treated like second class citizens) has had a devastating impact on the family. 
      • Like any movement that separates itself from God’s truth it goes to far one way or another. A quick look around will reveal there are far less men today and way more substitutes.
    • According to Scripture marriage is ordained by God as an intimate and permanent partnership between a man and a woman in which the two become one in the whole of life.
      •  Marriage is the sacred and lifelong union of a man and a woman giving themselves to each other in love and trust. 
      • Anything other is derived from vain, depraved imagination.
    • Next to salvation, Marriage is the most important affair in one’s life.
      • We can conclude from this account in Genesis that marriage is God’s idea, designed and instituted by the Creator.
    • Why did God create marriage?
    • (Ge 2:18) And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 
    • In these verses we also discover that at the heart of God’s design for marriage is companionship and intimacy.
      • To enjoy one another’s company. Doing things together.
    • So many start out separate.
      • Prenuptial agreements, bank accounts, lands…
        • I understand sometimes one can’t handle money and you need to set up some safe guards. Lands often are tied with other family, but if you can’t trust the gal or guy with what you have; children, money, things, you’re an idiot if you marry them.
      • This is the idea behind what God said( Ge 2:24) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
        • It takes work, it takes sacrifice, it takes dying to self.
        • Satisfying marriage is all giving and no taking.
      • Marriage is a gift from our heavenly Father given so that husband and wife may enrich and encourage each other in every area of their life together
    • Marriage is for procreation, to continue the human race. But also God designed sexual expression to help married couples build intimacy and permanent bond.
      • Not just to raise children, but Godly children. God spoke specifically how we are to teach, train and be examples for our children.
        • Seems like a trend I see in many parents life is once their son or daughter say a prayer, get baptized their concerns begin to alter.
        • It becomes more important for them to have friends, be popular, have etiquette, be kool,  than to be disciplined spiritually, understand God is calling us to be Holy, which brings true lasting happiness
      • Here is a sobering statement. Why do our kids act like…
        • Their modeling what they see before them.
    • Another startling thing becoming very evident, parents are not parenting.
      • Because of this worlds pressure and demand placed on the family in most household, both parents work.
      • Young’uns are placed in day cares or others houses.
      • Then when time is given them instead of coaching, training, teaching, they just tell their kids to do a task and rarely check to see how or even if it gets done.
      • Parenting takes time and investment rather you work or not.
    • Marriage is the firmest foundation for building a family and then society and Nation.
      • Marriage mirrors God’s covenant relationship with His people.
        • God desires that we develop and nurture a personal, interactive relationship with Him.
    • Marriage Is A Platform To Practice The Same Qualities Or Characteristics Of Christ.
      • Remember, Marriage is the sacred and lifelong union of a man and a woman giving themselves to each other in love and trust.
      • Marriage is the full expression and design of God’s image in human beings. 
      • Marriage is created out of divine order, is based on a covenant relationship, reflects our relationship with God and truly has a greater impact in our lives than many have assumed.
      • It signifies the mystery of the union between Christ and the Church.
  • The Main Purpose Of Marriage Is That Through Your Marriage You Become Transformed To The Image Of Jesus Christ.

I know there are many who have suffered divorce, broken relationships all this messed up world has to offer. We know according to God’s word He hates divorce. You know what He hates all sin and has made a remedy for it. Through the blood of Jesus you can find forgiveness and cleansing. You’re not second rate, not threw away. 

Thanksgiving 2020

                                                       (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

I spoke to you a couple of weeks ago about gratefulness. One of the most profound statements to me in that sermon was this. 

Someone once said that gratitude is the source for all other Christian virtues. If that be the case, then perhaps we need to reason that ingratitude may well be the source of all, or at least much of our vileness, our depravity as well.

In the letter to the Thessalonians, Paul gives out instructions to this congregation on how to not only survive but thrive. He speaks of rejoicing, praying, even being careful not to quench the Holy Spirit. He also lays out for all to see what God’s will, His desire, His plan for those who trust Him is.

In everything give thanks:

for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

It really is the will of God to live a grateful life.

What do we know about gratitude and being grateful?

Often we hear things like; well I’m grateful in my heart, but I’m just not very good at showing it. But you know my heart. 

No I don’t know your heart, what am I, a cardiologist? I don’t know your heart, unless you say it and show it.

I want to give you three things to help us grasp a biblical understanding of gratitude.

  • True gratefulness, gratitude is never invisible or silent.
    • My Lord said:

(Lu 6:45) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

  • When your heart is grateful, it’ll overflow to your mouth. 
    • When you’re grateful, you’ll say it and you’ll show it. 
    • When you’re grateful to God, you’ll tell Him, and you’ll show Him, you won’t just assume that He knows, 
    • When you’re grateful to God for others, you’ll tell them, and you’ll show them.
    • If you’re grateful in your heart… out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 
      • So if you’re not speaking it, your heart isn’t really grateful.
    • Some like to say,” well I’m just not that type…
      • Can I say this one more time?… for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
    • From the overflow of your heart, the mouth has to speak, and if you’re really grateful it will show up in your life, through your words and your actions.
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com
  • Have you ever received something special or seen someone who has received? 
    • Often they break down with emotion. They can’t speak, they are overwhelmed and the face, body, their being shows it.
    • I’ve seen proud, ungrateful people get mad. Get bitter. Feeling now they have to do something
      • But I’ve seen grateful people humbly, lovingly, gratefully, accept and not feel they have to do something of equal value.
    • Now, if we can be that thankful for a special touch from someone, then I know the church of Jesus Christ ought to be able to give God the same kind of praise, for sending His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross. 
      • To set us free forever from our sin and guilt.
      •  Giving us eternal life,
    •  Are there any grateful people here today? 
      • Is there anybody who isn’t just grateful in your heart, but you’re willing to show it with your life, you’re willing to shout it with your mouth?
    • Now I know that you have to be real, I know that you can’t walk around all the time saying, praise the Lord, about everything, or you’ll sound phony,
      • I’m telling you, most of us are in no danger of being too grateful to God. That’s not what we’re struggling with.
      • Gratitude is never invisible or silent
  • Gratitude Sustains Joy and Blessing.
    • A piano has three foot pedals below its keys. The one on the far right is the damper pedal also known as the sustain pedal.
      • When this pedal is depressed it lifts the dampers off the keys allowing the sound to be prolonged.
Photo by Nico on Pexels.com
  • Does anybody here remember a time in your life when you relieved an offense over and over again, 
    • Somebody hurt you and you replayed that in your mind a 100 times, through bitterness.
    • There is a perverted power or pedal in our mind that enables you to re-live an offense over and over again because of bitterness and un-forgiveness.
    • If you’re a follower of Christ and the Holy Spirit is in you, then by the perfect power of the Holy Spirit, ,( the regenerated pedal)  you can relive the blessing of God over and over and over again, and you can sustain the blessing of God.
      • Even when your situation starts to go bad, or even when someone hurt you today, you can flash back to the times in your life when God was faithful, and He worked it out, and He blessed you.
      • It depends on what note you’re wanting to prolong?
      • Gratitude sustains joy and blessing in your life.
  • Lastly, and very powerful! Gratitude Begins Where My Sense of Entitlement Ends.
    • You cannot be grateful for something that you feel entitled to.
      • That’s why people don’t write thank you notes to the IRS when they get a tax refund.
    • If you start to feel entitled to something, then your gratefulness just immediately ends.
      • It’s gone, disappeared, the moment you feel entitled.
    • When you first became a Christian and you felt that forgiveness and grace of God.
      • You realized what Christ had done for you on the cross, and the huge price He paid so you could be part of His family, you feel so grateful, so blessed. But what happens?
      • Over time you start to take it for granted, and you start to feel entitled. 
    • It is an honor to be allowed to serve Him, even the privilege of knowing Him is a huge blessing.
      • How in the world can we ever start to think we’re entitled to any of that?
      • We’re not entitled to any of it, but we are hugely blessed by God, and we ought to be extremely grateful.
    • Now, the unfortunate truth is, some people in the church do feel entitled. 
      • We get the privilege to teach a class, sing a song, lead in silent prayer all of a sudden it’s ours for life.
  • Let me close with this:
    • Gratitude is never invisible or silent. Gratitude Sustains Joy and Blessing. Gratitude Begins Where My Sense of Entitlement Ends.

To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.

I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works.

Psalms 9:1

  • Are you grateful for what God has done in your life? 
    • What He has allowed you to be a part of?
    • For those He is letting in to be to carry on?

Do you really know Him? 

Does it show? 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Shaky Ground or Strong Man Down

For those who are unable to attend service, we are working on new ways to minister to you. We look forward to connect with you on social media over the coming weeks. Please reach out to us with prayer request and concerns.

Sunday March 22, 2020

10:45 Worship

Judges 13:1-5

I am aware that it would seem a good pastor would be right up there preaching up on current events that are affecting us. Namely this corona virus. Spiritually speaking I believe that is what I do every time I have the opportunity to speak God’s word. For there is nothing more current than your present standing with God.I would like to speak to you today on where we are as a Nation, a church, as individuals. I want to give you some sure footed advice to strengthen you through these upcoming days.Pastor O. S. Hawkins has been pastor at 1st Baptist Dallas for years and also president and CEO of the SBC Annuity Board. I’ve had the joy to hear him speak on many occasions. He also is an author of many books, most of which I have read and has been a great help to me in my spiritual walk. Over the next few weeks I intend to share some thoughts with y’all that I have desired to for some time, which has been generated from one of his books “Moral Earthquakes”. It is one of those things that God births in your heart years before you actually use it.Here in the great state of Florida we have not been associated much with earthquakes. Though there have been some recorded they are not as prominent here as they are other places. We deal enough with hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, roundabouts and mosquitoes. Many of us can remember watching the horrible effects of the earthquake in China’s Tang-shan province in 1976. Mexico City in 85, and here in the God Blessed U.S.A. in California’s San Francisco area in 1989. There have been more since these but all have one thing in common, devastation and loss of many lives.When an earthquake strikes, no matter how much you have prepared, you are totally helpless. You are at the mercy of its gargantuan force of destruction. What moments before provided our greatest comfort and security is suddenly transformed into hurtling possessions and collapsing walls.Devastating as earthquakes are to this world in which we live, I believe moral earthquakes are even more shattering. It is evidenced in our society. Please understand, I am not referring to New York, England, the Islands, other faraway places, but right here in the great metropolis of Mayo.We like to pretend that everything here is fine, but in truth, all the things we have impacted our kids with and our own minds through the various media outlets have come back to haunt us. You cannot expect that when we subject our children and ourselves to shows on a regular basis where homosexuality is championed, cohabitation is the norm, sex is the chief objective to a relationship, alcohol, rebelling against authority, and children are smarter than adults and the like, that it is not going to have an effect. Add to this the humanistic teaching of our education system, the watered down, non-offending gospel that’s being preached and the “let the kid raise themselves” parenting program that’s so popular.It is affecting them and it has infected us.But there is hope! There is a solution!When the bible speaks to guide us and ground us, it hardly ever directs it to the weak but to the strong. Even those who simply perceive themselves as strong.That ought to have you take note. Awaken your spirit today. 1Co 10:12, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Samson was a man, though very blessed by God, traded it all in. He exchanged The Truth for The lie. We can learn some very important lessons from his life to help us succeed in ours. That’s the whole question in a nutshell. Is it important to you to live a life that’s successful in God’s eyes?

  • Samson’s beginning. Judges 13:1-5
  • Samson was a promise of God. He was raised in a good family and had the advantages of a solid good moral upbringing.
  • If we read on we find that in his life, he went from hero to zero.
  • What could cause such a loss?
  • We like to blame Delilah. It’s always the woman’s fault. But like in most cases, closer examination reveals another story.
  • Earthquakes don’t just happen.
  • They come from things well beyond our sight, well beneath the surface.
  • Shifting rock plates continually moving against each other sometimes get caught or stuck on each other till one breaks and then total chaos.
  • They call these areas of contact fault lines.
  • What we see as an all of a sudden event actually has been quietly occurring beneath the surface for years, decades, centuries.
  • Though we see Delilah as Samson’s greatest fault, truth is, the root of his downfall began some twenty something years earlier.
  • He had a special calling of God. He was a Nazarite.
  • If you will look when you get home in Numbers chp. 6 you will find the law of the Nazarite.
  • You will see that a Nazarite is not to drink wine or strong drink or even touch a grape in any stage of its life.
  • They are not to cut their hair.
  • They are not to touch a dead body.
  • These were all meant to be an external symbol of an internal reality.
  • Samson’s beginning of His end. Judges 14
  • 14:1, Hanging with those he was supposed to be delivering God’s people from.
  • Who you associate with is who you become.
  • 14:1-2, Dominated by his desires.
  • Pr 25:28, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls”
  • Samson abandoned his calling. He rejected his parents guidance and upbringing based entirely on his emotions, senses. His flesh.
  • His first lust/love story.
  • He never met her, talked to her, met her parents, and knew nothing about her except how she looked.
  • Now because he was following his heart we see one thing leads to another.
  • Jer 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
  • Where are they? Vineyards.
  • What happens? Kills a lion.
  • V8, We see he comes back and inspects the dead lion. He not only touches it but eats from it!
  • What are two things a Nazarite is not supposed to do? Touch grapes or anything dead.
  • One sin leads to another.
  • One compromise leads to the next.
  • When we say no to God in one area of our lives the fault line begins to spread throughout the rest of our life.
  • Many of us are involved in things.
  • Sinful habits, moral compromise, spiritual laziness.
  • We rationalize them as petty, trivial, and unimportant. We see them as no big deal.
  • Later we discover, often when it’s too late living our lives on such fault lines has caused incomprehensible damage to ourselves and to others.
  • Samson was no different than many of us today.
  • We get caught up in the moment. Carried by passion, emotion, ruled by our heart.
  • We know the old saying. What flows from the bucket of the mouth comes from the well of the heart. The same is true of our emotions.
  • I’m asked often; why do I feel this way or why do I act that way.
  • Simply because that is what your heart is full of.
  • We ain’t got to be Samson.
  • We don’t have to wait to the end to hopefully get it right. Today ,those here, those watching, God is speaking to you.
  • The sad descent into addictive behaviors all begin small indiscretions.
  • But end in great devastation.
  • Today it is not too late.
  • IF,IF,IF, you really want to live a life that is successful in the eyes of God. Simply because He is worth it you can do something about it today.
  • 1Jo 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
  • You are here today because the God of creation wanted you to hear this and submit, agree to it .