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  
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SEPTEMBER 3, 2006


WE ARE THE APPLE OF GOD’S EYE
 

SCRIPTURE READING: PSALM 17:1-9 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: PSALMS 17:8-9 (KJV) Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, from the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.  

INTRO: David was faced with many different kinds of enemies: 

·         The Philistines

·         Saul

·         Absalom

    In spite of all that surrounded David, he never lost sight of God’s love for him or God’s power of deliverance for very long. 

   There may be times we second guess our relationship with God and His love for us and His willing to grant us victory. 

   Times of: 

·         Temptation

·         Trials

·         Persecution

·         Pain & sorrow

·         Disappointments

In spite of all these adverse circumstances we must never forget that we are very special to God. 

I.  WE ARE UNDER ATTACK FROM THE ENEMY. 

PSALM 17: 9 From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.

 NOTE: David Psalm may have been referring to physical enemies but it also referred to our spiritual enemy, Satan.

 EPHESIANS 6:12 (KJV) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  

   As Christians we are relentlessly under attack from Satan.

   Satan has one desire and that is to destroy the human race, especially those who are seeking to serve and worship God. 

   He comes against us in various ways: 

·         As a roaring lion

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

NOTE:  These are attacks from without the Church. 

1.      Persecution

2.      Sickness

3.      Discouragement

4.      ridicule

·         As a wolf in sheep clothing

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

NOTE: These come from within the Church. 

1.       Backbiting

2.       Gossip

3.       Exclusiveness

4.       Rejection

5.       Judgment 

·         As an angel of light

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

 NOTE: This is false teachers and teaching that seek to corrupt the Word of God. 

1.       Denying the Truth of God’s Word

2.       Teaching the dogmas of man instead of the Doctrines of God.

3.       Twisting God’s Word to fit their teaching. 

NOTE: David sought God to protect and deliver him for his enemies, we must seek God to do the same for us against Satan and his attacks. 

II.  WE ARE THE OBJECT OF GOD’S AFFECTION. 

PSALMS 17:8-9 (KJV) Keep me as the apple of the eye…

LUKE 12:7 (KJV) But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.  

NOTE: David wanted God to KEEP him as the apple of His eye, the center of God’s affection. 

   In times of trials and difficulties we must trust in the KEEPING power of God. 

·         He has all power

·         He will never leave us

·         He is always watching us

·         He is always concerned what is happing in our lives.

In times of trials and difficulties we must trust in the LOVE of God. 

·         He loved us before the world began

·         He loves us in spite of our failures and weakness

·         He loves us so much He paid the highest price possible for our redemption

·         He loved us so much that He made a way that we could become His child.

1 JOHN 3:1-3 (KJV) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.  

   How can we ever doubt His love towards us.

 III.  GOD OFFERS PROTECTION FROM OUR ENEMIES.  

NOTE: David sought God’s protection from his enemies. 

PSALMS 17:8 (KJV)hide me under the shadow of thy wings,  

PSALM 9:9 (KJV)  The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  

PSALM 46:1 (KJV)  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  

PSALM 57:1 (KJV) To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave. 

    Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

 NOTE: God longs to gather us under His wings to protect us from the enemy but too often we refuse to come to Him for deliverance. 

MATTHEW 23:37 (KJV) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!  

   God is a sure refuge if will we go to Him in times of need.

 PSALM 59:16 (KJV)  But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.

 PSALM 62:8 (KJV)  Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

 ISAIAH 4:6 (KJV)  And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.

 ISAIAH 25:4 (KJV)  For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.

 CONCLUSION: Don’t forget that no matter what you may be facing, you are the object of God’s affections and He longs to protect and deliver you from Satan’s attacks. 

 

SEPTEMBER 10, 2006
FAITH HAS FOUR LEGS
 

SCRIPTURE READING: HEBREWS 11:1-10 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: HEBREWS 11:6 (KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

 INTRO: Have you heard the saying, “It doesn’t have a leg to stand on.”? 

   The foundation of anything is of the utmost importance. 

   There is a vast difference between worldly faith (positive thinking) and Biblical faith. 

   The foundation of Faith has four legs, each one sharing the load with the others. 

   There is grave danger in having strong faith but weak theology. 

   We must have a good understanding of Who God is and what His Word teaches us about Him. 

   The more we know about God and the more we understand His Word, the stronger our faith will be. 

   There are four basic ingredients in Biblical faith for it to produce proper results. 

I.  HOPE 

HEBREWS 6:18-19 (KJV) That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;  

NOTE: Biblical Faith is based only on God and in His promises. 

ROMANS 8:24 (NIV) For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?  

NOTE: For our faith to be productive it must put its hope in God and God alone. 

JEREMIAH 17:5-8 (NLT) This is what the LORD says: "Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans and turn their hearts away from the LORD. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, on the salty flats where no one lives. "But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their HOPE and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.  

II.  VISION 

NOTE: It is our vision that gives our Faith its goal.

    Where there is no vision there is no need for faith.

   Where there is no faith there will be no Godly vision.

    A.  A VISION GIVES OUR FAITH ITS PURPOSE. 

PROVERBS 29:18 (KJV) Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.  

   Unless there is a vision for growth or change, none will come. 

ILL: Paul had a vision. 

PHILIPPIANS 3:10, 14 (KJV)  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death…I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  

   B.  OUR VISION BRINGS UNITY.

 PROVERBS 29:18 (NLT) When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is happy.

 NOTE: When a Church sees the vision God has for the Church it will bring all true Believers into unity.

 III.  COURAGE

 NUMBERS 13:20 (KJV) And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes.  

NOTE: We can say we have put our trust in God, we can claim to have a vision of what God will do for us, but unless we have the courage to step out in obedience to the will of God we do not have faith.

    When the Children of Israel stood on the brink of entering the Promise Land they lacked the courage to step out in obedience to God.

 DEUTERONOMY 31:6 (KJV) Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

 ILL: Peter had the courage to step out of the boat and walk on the water towards Jesus; it was when he took his eyes off Jesus that fear took control. 

PSALMS 118:6 (KJV) The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?  

ISAIAH 12:2-3 (KJV)  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

 IV.  PATIENCE 

LUKE 21:19 (KJV)  In your patience possess ye your souls.  

NOTE: One of the hardest things to do is to wait. 

   Whenever God is slow to answer our prayers, what we believe about God is revealed. Do we change our plans and move in a different direction when pressure mounts? Or do we continue on the path God has directed for us?[1] 

EPHESIANS 6:13 (KJV) Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

 ILL: Lack of patience, Abraham

 NOTE: The failure to wait for God to work things out in His way and according to His time will always lead to disaster.   

ILL: Possession of faith, David

    Although David had been anointed king, and had opportunities to kill Saul, he waited until it was God timing. 

PSALMS 62:5 (KJV) My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.

 PSALMS 123:1-2 (KJV)  Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.  

ISAIAH 40:31 (KJV) But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

 CONCLUSION: We each need to examine our hearts and see which of the four legs of faith we need to build up. 

·         Are we trusting God or leaning on the arm of flesh?

·         Do we have a vision or see a need that must be met?

·         Do we have the courage to step out and obey the voice of God?

·         Are we willing to wait for God’s timing?

 

SEPTEMBER 17, 2006 (AM)
THE BY-PRODUCTS OF FAITH
 

SCRIPTURE READING: PSALM 46:1-11 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: HEBREWS 11:23 (NIV) By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict.

 INTRO: It is critical that we understand that Faith is an imperative part of the Christian’s life. 

   The Christian lives his life by Faith. 

HABAKKUK 2:4b (KJV)the just shall live by his faith.  

   This is repeated three times in the New Testament (Rom. 1:17, Gal. 3:11 & Heb. 10:38). 

   Without Faith we cannot please God.  Heb. 11:6 

   Too often we seek to please God by our works instead of by our faith. 

   Remember, Faith has four legs: 

1.      Hope

2.      Vision

3.      Courage

4.      Patience

The question we wish to ask today is, “When we live by Faith, what will it produce in our life?” 

   What are some of the by-products of Faith? 

1.      Victory

2.      Joy

3.      Peace

   The story of Amram & Jochebed, Moses’ parents, reveals what Faith is and what it will produce in the heart and lives of those who walk by Faith. 

   Let us consider their walk of faith. 

I.  THE CIRCUMSTANCES THEY FACED.

 EXODUS 1:22 (KJV) And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.  

   A.  IT WAS CRITICAL 

NOTE: Often times the things we think we really need or only things we want. 

   Often times it is only when we are faced with desperate situations that we begin to call on God to meet our need. 

   B.  HOPELESS IN THE EYES OF MAN 

EXODUS 2:1-2 (KJV)  And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.  

NOTE: They had done all they could do. 

   Too often we want God to step in and meet the need while there are things we can do ourselves to address the situation.

    When faith had done all she can, she looks up. 

II.  THE ACTION THEY TOOK. 

EXODUS 2:3-4 (KJV) And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.  

   Their Hope was in God.

   Their Vision was that God will save Moses from death.

   Their Courage was preparing the basket and placing it in the river.

   There Patience was waiting on God for his deliverance. 

III.  THE BY-PRODUCTS OF THEIR FAITH. 

   A.  VICTORY 

EXODUS 2:6 (KJV) And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews' children. “ 

NOTE: Faith will always produce victory but not always the way we expected. 

ILL: Man on an uninhabited island.

     Victory does not always mean deliverance from the circumstances we might be in.

 2 CORINTHIANS 12:7-9 (KJV) And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 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.  

   The victory we have knows that God is in control and that He will bring us through and whatever happens will be for our betterment and His glory.

1 THESSALONIANS 5:18 (KJV) In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  

   This is the secret of real victory, trusting God with the results.  

   B.  JOY 

NOTE: Faith will always produce joy and often greater than we expected. 

EXODUS 2:7-9 (KJV) Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?  And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother.  And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it.  

NOTE: God often gives us more than we ask of Him. 

PSALMS 30:5b (KJV)weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.  

   God always gives back to us more than we give to Him. 

ILL: Hanna and Samuel. After Hanna gave Samuel to the Lord He gave her three sons and two daughters.  I SAMUEL 1 & 2 

PSALMS 30:11 (KJV) Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;  

C.      PEACE 

EXODUS 2:10 (KJV) And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.  

·         The peace of knowing God is in control

·         The peace of knowing God loves us

·         The peace of knowing God knows best

JOHN 16:33 (KJV) These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  

JOHN 14:27 (KJV) Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  

   The world’s peace is based on circumstances; God’s peace is based on relationship. 

CONCLUSION: Let us walk in Faith and enjoy its by-products.

 

SEPTEMBER 17, 2006 (PM)
FOUR PRAYERS FOUND IN JONAH” 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: THE BOOK OF JONAH 

INTRO:  When we consider the book of Jonah, we often see it as a good story, which demonstrates the power, and mercy of God, but how often do we try and consider what practical purpose it has for us today? 

   From 2 Kings 14:25 (He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the Lord God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gath-hepher.) Jonah’s prophetic ministry is known to have been during the reign of Jeroboam II (786-746 B.C.). He was from Gath-hepher, a border town in the territory of Zebulun, mentioned also in Joshua 19:13. His ministry would have occurred not many years after the death of Elisha.  Amos and Hosea also prophesied during the reign of Jeroboam II, but there is no way of knowing whether the three prophets knew each other. 

   Jonah is a strange paradox:  

v      A prophet of God, and yet he runs from the call of God:

v      A man drowned, and yet alive:

v      A preacher of repentance, yet one that does not want the people to repent. 

   Jonah, saved from the jaws of death himself on repentance, was the fittest to give a hope to Nineveh, doomed though it was, of a merciful reprieve on its repentance. The patience and pity of God stand in striking contrast with the selfishness and hard-heartedness of man. 

   The major purpose of the book is two fold: 

1.      A reproof of Israel; a heathen people were ready to repent at the first preaching of the prophet, a stranger to them; but Israel, who boasted of being God's elect, repented not, though warned by their own prophets at all seasons.

2.      To teach that the message of God’s grace and forgiveness should not be withheld from anyone.  The Hebrews had been chosen by God as a special people but did not understand their responsibility to share their knowledge of him with other peoples. They regarded their election as an exclusive privilege. God desired to teach Israel through Jonah’s experiences that God’s love and compassion included all peoples and nations.

 The book of Jonah can easily be divided into four parts: 

(1) Jonah in a fix (Jonah 1:1-17)

(2) Jonah in a fish (Jonah 2:1-10)

(3) Jonah in a revival (Jonah 3:1-10)

(4) Jonah in a rage (Jonah 4:1-11) 

There are four prayers found in the book of Jonah: 

v      The Prayer during the storm  (Jonah 1:14-16)

v      The Prayer of Repentance & Commitment

       (Jonah 2:1-9)

v      The Prayer of Repentance & Hope (Jonah 3:5-9)

v      The Prayer of Disappointment & Dissatisfaction (Jonah 4:2-3) 

   The driving force behind these four prayers is desperation. 

   When people become desperate enough, even the unbelievers will turn to prayer. 

I.  THE PRAYER DURING THE STORM. 

JONAH 1:14-16 

Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee. So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.  

   When storms come into your life how do you react?

  v      Do you stand and fight through it the best you know how?

v      Do you hide and try to deny that you are facing a storm?

v      Do you cry out to God for His deliverance? 

NOTE:  The “True Believer” was asleep in the bottom of the boat and did not seek God’s deliverance; while the unbelievers were praying to every god they could think of. 

   It wasn’t until Jonah pointed them to God that they turned to Him for help. 

v      How does your reaction, when God answers your prayers, compare to the sailors responded to God answering their prayers? 

II.  THE PRAYER OF REPENTANCE & COMMITMENT 

JONAH 2:1-9 

Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly, and said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.   For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.  The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.  I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me forever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.  When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.  They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.  But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.  

v      How quick are you to pray when you find yourself in a difficult situation?

v      Have you ever needed God to give you a second chance?

v      Have you ever met anyone who was in serious trouble but still refused to call upon God?  What kept them from calling upon God?

v      Have you ever promised God that you would do something if He got you out of a jam?  Did you keep your promise?

III.  THE PRAYER OF REPENTANCE & HOPE. 

JONAH 3:5-9 

So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.  For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.  And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.  Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?  

v      Why do you think the people of Nineveh believe what Jonah said?

v      What do you think it means they believe God? 

o        That God was going to bring judgment

o        That He was a God of mercy(Where do you think they got this idea?) 

v      Why did they fast and put on sackcloth and cause their animals to do it as well?

v      What does it mean to you to fast & pray?

v      What must happen that will cause you to fast & pray? 

IV.  THE PRAYER OF DISAPPOINTMENT &

        DISSATISFACTION. 

JONAH 4:2-3  

And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.  

v      Why do you think Jonah was upset because God didn’t destroy Nineveh?

v      Are there people in your life that you would not want God to save?

v      How do you think you would react if the worst sinner possible started coming to our church and got saved?

v      What would your reaction be if the person you disliked the most, or maybe even hate, came to church and got saved and God began to bless them?

v      What is God trying to tell us when He pointed out that Jonah was more concerned over his own comfort than the souls of Nineveh?

 


[1] Going Against The Flow: Os Hillman, Tuesday, August 29, 2006

 

 

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