ONALASKA FIRST CHURCH OF GOD

"Where Your Experience In Christ, Makes You A Member"

133 3rd Avenue,  P.O. Box 245,  Onalaska,  Washington  98570     (360) 978-4161      FAX (360) 978-6941  
info(at)onalaskachurchofgod(dot)com

 

 

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October Sermons

OCTOBER 3, 2004 

TO LOOK OR NOT TO LOOK, THAT IS THE QUESTION” 

SCRIPTURE READING: NUMBERS 21: 4-9 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: John 12:32  

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.  

INTRO: Why is it that some people look to Jesus for Salvation while so many others fail to take advantage of His offer? 

   Give the background of the story. 

   This morning we are not concerned with the kind of sin they were involved in but rather, they had sinned and their sin had brought death. 

   All have sinned and death is the final judgment of sin. 

ROMANS 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 

   It doesn’t matter what kind of sin we have committed, or how deep we have delved into the sin, nor how long we have practiced the sin, the bottom line is that we have sinned and in the end sin will produce death. 

ROMANS 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  

HEBREWS 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:  

   There are three steps in dealing with the sin in our lives and the pending Judgment for that sin. 

  1. Recognizing that we have sinned and need to be saved.
  2. Accepting God’s deliverance from the judgment of sin.
  3. Being grateful for the deliverance from sin and sharing it with others.

I.  RECOGNIZING THAT WE HAVE SINNED AND NEED TO BE SAVED. 

NOTE: There are many things that will keep us from recognizing the sin in our lives and the need of Salvation. 

   A.  THERE ARE THOSE WHO FAIL TO RECOGNIZE SIN AS SIN. 

NOTE: They say that sin is only in the mind of the Evangelical Christians. 

ROMANS 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.  

   Because they do not know God or the righteousness of God, they do not recognize sin for what it is, rebellion against God. 

   B.  THERE ARE THOSE WHO SAYS THEIR SIN IN NOT TOO BAD.

NOTE: Only a little snake bit me. 

   There is no place in the Word of God when God divides little sins from big sins. 

Proverbs 24:30-34 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.  Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.  

Song of Solomon 2:15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.  

   C.  THERE ARE THOSE WHO SAY THEIR SIN IS TOO GREAT. 

NOTE: Too many snakes have bitten them. 

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.  

   D.  PRAISE GOD FOR THOSE WHO RECOGNIZE THAT THEY ARE A SINNER

         IN NEED OF SALVATION. 

Psalm 130:3-4 If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?  But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.  

II.  ACCEPTING GOD’S DELIVERANCE FROM THE JUDGMENT OF SIN. 

NOTE: It is one thing to acknowledge that we are a sinners, it is something totally different to accept God’s deliverance from sin. 

   A.  THEY WANT TO SAVE THEMSELVES. 

Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? 

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.  

   B.  THEY DO NOT BELIEVE (THEY REBEL AGAINST) GOD’S SALVATION. 

ISAIAH 30:15 For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.  

LUKE 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!  

   C.  THEY FAIL TO BELIEVE SIMPLICITY OF GOD’S SALVATION. 

2 Kings 5:10-11 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.  But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.  

NOTE: There are those who think it takes pomp and circumstance to produce salvation. 

   D.  THEY FAIL TO BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF GOD’S SALVATION. 

2 Kings 7:1-2 Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.  Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.  

NOTE: It is a sad thing to be so close to Salvation but lose out because we fail to believe. 

   E.  THEY LOOK AND THEY ARE DELIVERED. 

Psalm 32:1-2 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.  

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  

III.  BEING GRATEFUL FOR THE DELIVERANCE FROM SIN THEY SEEK

       TO SHARING IT WITH OTHERS. 

NOTE: We should be so grateful for what God has done for us that we want to share it with everyone we know. 

John 1:40-41 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.  He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.  

John 1:43-45 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.  Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.  Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.  

John 4:28-29 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?  

CONCLUSION: It is our privilege as Christians, to lift up Jesus in this sin sick world and points those who are dying in sin, to Jesus Christ the Savior of the world.

 

OCTOBER 10, 2004

DON’T GIVE UP, KEEP ON TRUSTING” 

SCRIPTURE READING: HEBREWS 11:8-19 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: Galatians 6:9  

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

INTRO: As we view the life of Abraham we can see that he wasn’t always victorious but he was persistent.  

     As Christian we are often faced with the temptation to give up and return to the old life. 

   One of the favorite tricks of the devil is to get Christians discouraged in their Christian walk. 

   There may be times God releases us from a task He has given us to do, but God will never wants us to give up our Christian walk. 

   Satan is constantly seeking ways to turn us from serving God, when one-way won’t work he is quick to try another. 

MATTHEW 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  

2 CORINTHIANS 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  

1 PETER 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  

I.  DON’T GIVE UP WHEN FACING: 

   A.  TEMPTATION. 

NOTE: Everyone faces temptation. 

   If Satan can’t get us to yield to temptation, he will try and convince us that the temptation it self is sin. 

Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. (Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:2

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

   It is easy to become weary fighting temptation, but the weariness comes because we are struggling in our own strength instead of turning it over to Jesus. 

   B.  FAILURE. 

NOTE: There is nothing like failure to leave a bitter taste in your heart. 

v      Failure in temptation. 

NOTE: There may be times, no matter how hard we try, we fail and yield to temptation. 

1 JOHN 2:1-2 (NIV) My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.  

v      Failure in duty. 

ILL: Mark on his missionary journey with Paul and Barnabas.  

ACTS 13:13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.  

ACTS 15:36-38 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.  And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.  But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.  

2 TIMOTHY 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.  

v      Failure in witness. 

ILL: Peter 

Mark 14:67-71 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.  But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.  And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.  And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.  But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.  

   I wonder how often Peter would awaken in the middle of the night, remembering his failure. 

   Satan will do everything in his power to get you to fail, but if he cannot get you to fail, he will try and convince you that you have failed. 

   C.  REJECTION. 

NOTE: There are two kinds of rejections that can cause us to give up. 

   Rejection can be very painful. 

2 Chronicles 30:10 So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.  

2 Chronicles 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, ...  

Psalm 142:4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.  

v      Personal

v      Service or idea 

NOTE:  As we face these things (temptation, failure and rejection) time and time again.  It is easy to become discourage and have the feeling of wanting to give up. 

Psalm 73:13-16 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.  For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.  If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.  When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;  

ILL: Moses.  Numbers 11:15 And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness. 

   Elijah. 1 Kings 19:14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.  

II.  KEEP ON TRUSTING GOD. 

NOTE: The key to learning how to trust God during the times of temptation, failure, rejection and discouragement, is to Trust God’s Sovereignty.  

JEREMIAH 29:11 (GW) I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.  

ROMANS 8:28 (GW) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  

PHILIPPIANS 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:  

CONCLUSION: We must always remember, that God is putting us through a process the will bring us to the place He wants us if only we will trust Him. 

Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.  

PHILIPPIANS 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.  

   The road to success is not straight. There is a curve called Failure, a loop called Confusion, speed bumps called Friends, and red lights called Enemies, caution lights called Family. You will have flats called Jobs. But, if you have a spare called Determination, an engine called Perseverance, insurance called Faith, a driver called Jesus, you will make it to a place called Success.  (author unknown)

OCTOBER 17, 2004

THE ATTRIBUTES OF THE COMMUNION TABLE 

SCRIPTURE READING: I CORINTHIANS 11:17-34 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: I CORINTHIANS 11:26 

   For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.  

INTRO: The Communion Table can be a two-edged sword. 

   It can either be a source of blessing or it can be a source of judgment. 

   It all depends on our view of the Communion Table and the attitude of our heart when we participate.   

   An attribute is something that makes a certain object what it is, and any absence of any attribute will change that object into something else. 

   There are six attributes of the Communion Table and the absence of one will cause the Communion Table to be no more. 

  1. It unifies.
  2. It requires a time of remembering.
  3. It declares a proclamation.
  4. It looks towards the future.
  5. It demands introspection.
  6. It brings accountability.

I.  THE COMMUNION TABLE BRINGS UNITY. 

NOTE: There was a serious problem in the Church at Corinth and that problem was disunity. 

1 CORINTHIANS 11:17-22 (NLT) But now when I mention this next issue, I cannot praise you. For it sounds as if more harm than good is done when you meet together.  First of all, I hear that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church, and to some extent I believe it.  But, of course, there must be divisions among you so that those of you who are right will be recognized!

    It's not the Lord's Supper you are concerned about when you come together.   For I am told that some of you hurry to eat your own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some go hungry while others get drunk.   What? Is this really true? Don't you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really want to disgrace the church of God and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say about these things? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly do not!  

   When we gather around the Communion Table we must gather together in UNITY. 

   We gather to celebrate the Lord’s Body; this can mean two things; Jesus Christ Himself or the Church, which is also called His Body. 

   God wants his Church unified not divided. 

EPHESIANS 4:11-16 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.  

1 CORINTHIANS 12:25 (GW) God's purpose was that the body should not be divided but rather that all of its parts should feel the same concern for each other.  

   Division within the Church will destroy the church. 

   When we gather around the Communion Table it must be done in the spirit of unity, seeing each other as equals, knowing that we all must come through the broken body and shed blood of our Savior and Lord. 

II.  THE COMMUNION TABLE REQUIRES A TIME OF REMEMBERING. 

1 Corinthians 11:23-25 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: “This is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.”  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, “This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.”  

NOTE: When we gather around the Communion Table it is a time for reflection. 

   A.  THE BREAD REPRESENT THE BODY (HUMANITY) OF JESUS. 

1 Corinthians 11:23-24 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.  

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  

Hebrews 2:14-18 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.  For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.  

HEBREWS 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

B.  THE CUP REPRESENTS THE BLOOD (DEITY) OF JESUS. 

1 CORINTHIANS 11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.  

Hebrews 9:11-12 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.  

   C.  WE NEED TO REMEMBER OUR OWN SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES. 

NOTE: Every time we come to the Communion Table we should reflect on what God has done for us personally.   

III.  IT DECLARES A PROCLAMATION.  

1 CorINTHIANS 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death….  

NOTE: Every time we come to the Communion Table we proclaim the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

JOHN 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.  

1 CORINTHIANS 1:18, 23-24 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  

   There can be no Communion Table without the cross. 

   The cross shows to us two very important truths: 

  1. The awfulness and penalty of sin.

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.  

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  

  1. The great love God has for fallen sinners.

JOHN 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  

ROMANS 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  

IV.  IT LOOKS TOWARDS THE FUTURE.  

1 Corinthians 11:26 …till he come.  

NOTE: The hope and joy of the Communion Table does not only lie in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but it also rest on the promise of His return. 

1 Corinthians 15:51-58 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.  

Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.  

V.  IT DEMANDS INTROSPECTION. 

1 Corinthians 11:27-28 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  

NOTE: It does not say, those who are unworthy, but rather, those who eat and drink in an unworthy manner. 

   It all has to do with the heart. 

   The problem is that often times we do not know our own hearts. 

Jeremiah 17:9-10 (nlt)    "The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?  But I know! I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve." 

PSALM 139:23-24 (NLT)  Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts.  Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. 

VI.  IT BRINGS ACCOUNTABILITY. 

1 CorINTHIANS 11:29-34 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.  Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.  And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.  

NOTE: There are those who want to believe that God is only a God of love and they refuse to see Him as also a God of Holiness and Justice.  

HEBREWS 12:6 The Lord disciplines everyone he loves.  He severely disciplines everyone he accepts as his child." 

REVELATION 3:19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. Take this seriously, and change the way you think and act.  

   If we acknowledge our sin and repent, God will forgive and restore to us the joy of our salvation.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  

Psalm 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.  

CONCLUSION:  As we approach the Communion Table, let us do so with awe and respect.  Let us not view it lightly but honor it as a place where we can meet and enjoy spiritual union with God.

 

OCTOBER 24, 2004

HEARING THE VOICE OF GOD 

SCRIPTURE READING: PSALM 19:1-14 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: John 1:14  

   And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  

INTRO: Do you have a desire to hear the voice of God? 

   Many claim to have heard the voice of God when in reality they haven’t. 

   Yet there are many others who say they have never heard the voice of God but in reality they have. 

   Every true Born Again Believer should have a burning desire to hear God speak to them. 

   The problem does not lie with God not speaking, but rather with us not hearing and recognizing God’s voice. 

   MATTHEW 13:9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.  

   This is repeated at least ten more times. 

   Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  

When God speaks to us He does it for two purposes: 

v      To reveal Himself to us.

v      To reveal His will to us. 

   There are many ways in which God speaks to us: 

v      He speaks to us through dreams and visions.

v      He speaks to us in His Own Voice.

v      He speaks to us through circumstances.

v      He speaks to us through people.

v      He speaks to us through His creation.

v      He speaks to us through His written Word. 

   The question is not whether or not God speaks, but are we listening when He does speak. 

   The first two most of us have not experienced but if we have there has been very little doubt about it. 

   The second two we experienced quite often but we often fail to recognize them as God speaking to us when it happens. 

   The last two we should be experiencing daily and we are without excuse. 

I.  GOD SPEAKS TO US THROUGH HIS CREATION. 

Psalm 19:1-6 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. 

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.  There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.  Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,  which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.  His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.  

Romans 1:18-21 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  

   There are those, who in their own free will, have chosen not to believe in the power of God shown through His creating the world by His spoken word. 

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  

   Creation gives us a general knowledge of God: 

v      The existence of God

v      The wisdom of God

v      The power of God 

   Faith in God is a matter of choice, we either chose to believe that God is, or we chose to believe that He does not exist. 

   Many do not want to be accountable to God therefore they say that He does not exist. 

   ROMANS 1:20b-21 so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 

   The truly foolish ones are those who believe that He is but does not seek Him or follow His will. 

LUKE 12:47-48 (NIV) "That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows.  But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”  

II.  GOD SPEAKS TO US THROUGH HIS WRITTEN WORD. 

2 Timothy 3:15-17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.  

   As creation give us a general knowledge of God, His Word reveals the nature God and His desires towards us, His creation. 

PSALM 19:7 (NIV) The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. 

v      God’s Word is complete; nothing can be added or taken away. 

DEUTERONOMY 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.  

Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.  

v      God’s Word is without error or flaw.

v      Through believing in God’s Word we are changed from a sinner to a saint.

v      God’s Word brings us comfort and refreshes our soul in times of difficulties. 

(NIV) The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.  

v      God keeps His Word to His people. 

   1 Kings 8:56 Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.  

v      Those that read His Word will understand. 

Isaiah 29:18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.  

PSALM 19:8 (NIV) The instructions of the Lord are correct.  They make the heart rejoice. 

Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.  

NOTE: If we follow the instructions that God’s Word gives us we will posses the peace and hope that we long for. 

MATTHEW 7:24-25 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

 (GW) The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.  

NOTE: It is in God’s Word that we find the proper path to take in life. 

Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.  

PSALM 19:9 (GW) The fear of the Lord is pure.  It endures forever. 

NOTE: A proper reverence towards God is pure and holy, something to desire and seek after. 

   Those who posses such a reverence will live forever. 

(GW) The decisions of the Lord are true.  They are completely fair.  

Zephaniah 3:5 The just Lord is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.  

Romans 2:2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.  

CONCLUSION: We should put great value on hearing the voice of God through His Word. 

Psalm 19:10-14 (NLT) They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb.  They are a warning to those who hear them; there is great reward for those who obey them.  How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.  Keep me from deliberate sins! Don't let them control me.  Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.  May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. 

   Most of us will not receive a vision or dream and most of us will not hear an audible voice from God but we hear God speak to us through circumstance, other people and especially through His creation and Word. 

   It takes faith to recognize the voice of God.  

"Faith honors God; God honors faith.
Faith links me with divinity. Faith clothes me with the power of Jehovah.
Am I in trouble? I can obtain help for trouble by faith.
But take faith away, then in vain I call to God. There is no other road betwixt my soul and heaven.
Oh, then, Christian watch well thy faith, "If thou can'st believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."

v      Streams in the Desert pg.190, 191 

MATTHEW 13:9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear

Lord, give us listing ears and open hearts to hear Your voice and obey. 

October 31, 2004

PREPARING THE SOIL OF OUR HEART

 SCRIPTURE READING: MATTHEW 13:1-23 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: Ezekiel 36:26-27  

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.  

INTRO:  When a farmer plants his crops there are two very important considerations he must make. 

v      The condition of the seed he is planting.

v      The condition of the soil that he is planting in. 

   In this parable Jesus likens the seed to the Word of God and the soil to our hearts. 

   God wants us to hear and understand His will so He speaks to us through His Word. 

   Yet often we fail to produce in our lives the fruit that He desires for us. 

   The fault does not lie in the seed but rather in the kind of soil that is in our hearts. 

   Jesus speaks of four different kinds of soils; our hearts fit one of these. 

  1. The hardened heart
  2. The stony heart
  3. The weed filled heart
  4. The productive heart

   This parable refers to religious people, those to whom the Word of God is spoken. 

I.  THE HARDENED HEART 

MATTHEW 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.  

NOTE: There is no sign of any spiritual growth in this heart. 

   A.  THIS HEARTS HEARS THE WORD OF GOD. 

   There are many who hear the Word of God on a regular basic but they have never accepted the Word for themselves or applied it to their life. 

   B.  THE WORD NEVER PENETRATES BEYOND THE SURFACE.  

  There are many people who hear the Word of God but they never allow it to make a difference in their lives. 

   C.  WHAT LITTLE THE HAVE RECEIVED THEY ALLOW THE DEVIL TO

         STEAL AWAY. 

   The Word of God goes in one ear and out the other never staying long enough to make a change in their lives. 

   D.  WHAT CAUSES A HEART TO BECOME HARDENED TO THE GOSPEL?

v      Indifference 

Matthew 22:5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:  

v      Unbelief 

Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  

v      Bitterness 

Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;  

v      Un-repented sin 

Genesis 4:6-7 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.  

II.   THE STONY HEART 

MATTHEW 13:20-21 The rocky soil represents those who hear the message and receive it with joy.   But like young plants in such soil, their roots don't go very deep. At first they get along fine, but they wilt as soon as they have problems or are persecuted because they believe the word.  

v      Habits 

   Things we do that keep us from growing deeper in the things of God (attending church, reading and studying God’s Word, praying). 

v      Attitudes 

   Attitudes that keep the love and grace of God from penetrating into our hearts (how we treat one another, how we treat the things and house of God). 

v      Rebellion & disobedience  

   When we refuse to submit to God’s leadership, the authority of His Word, and fail to obey Him. 

III.  THE WEED FILLED HEART 

MATTHEW 13:22 The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life and the lure of wealth, so no crop is produced.  

NOTE:  Many good Christians have turned away from following God because of the desire for the things of this world. 

2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica;  

1 JOHN 2:15-16 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world.  

   The pursuit and enjoyment of the things of this world choke out our love for the things of God.  

NOTE: These things are not sins in themselves but when they take place of the things of God in our lives they become sin. 

v      We no longer can give to God that which is due Him.

v      We spend our time in pursuing pleasure instead of attending church and receiving spiritual enrichment.

v      We are so busy pursuing and enjoying the pleasures of this world we don’t have time for service for God. 

IV.  THE PRODUCTIVE HEART 

Matthew 13:23 but he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  

   A.  ACCEPTS THE WORD OF GOD. 

v      As truth.

v      Applies it to his own life. 

   B.  HE SEEKS TO UNDERSTAND IT. 

2 TimOTHY 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  

   C.  HIS LIFE BEARS FRUIT. 

CONCLUSION: How can we possess a productive heart? 

  1. Ask God to give you a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36:26-27 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 

  1. Allow Him to break up hardness of your heart.

HOSEA 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.  

  1. Remove the stones and weeds from your heart.

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

 

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