MARCH 1, 2009
“THE MARK OF UNITY”
Philippians 1:27 – 2:4
Philippians 1:27 (NLT)
But whatever happens to me, you must live
in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ, as
citizens of heaven. Then, whether I come and see you
again or only hear about you, I will know that you
are standing side by side, fighting together for the
INTRO: Last Sunday
we talked about the Mark of Christian Living:
Today we want to share
about the mark of unity.
There are two aspects of unity that must be
found within the Church if it is to be the Body of
Unity with God
Unity with one another
I. IN UNITY WITH GOD.
If we are to walk in unity with God the Father we
must follow the example Jesus gives us and walk as
1 John 2:6 (KJV)
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself
also so to walk, even as he walked.
John 14:31 (NIV)
but the world must learn that I love the Father and
that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me…
John 15:10 (NIV)
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my
love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and
remain in his love.
Being obedient to God is a matter of choice.
According to His Father’s will
I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I
judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not
mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath
Psalm 40:8 I
delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is
within my heart.
Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy
spirit is good; lead me into the land of
Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book
it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He
taketh away the first, that he may establish the
Doing the will of God is not always easy.
Matthew 26:39 (NIV)
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to
the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is
possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as
I will, but as you will."
Seeking to please God more than pleasing men.
For they loved the praise of men more than the
praise of God.
II. IN UNITY WITH EACH
Amos 3:3 (KJV)
Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
A church that is clothed with conflict and division
will never be able to fulfill the task God has for
1 Corinthians 3:3
For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among
you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not
carnal, and walk as men?
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye
light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the
gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you,
or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs,
that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind
striving together for the faith of the gospel;
A. UNITY IN SPIRIT.
Ephesians 4:3 (NLT)
Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit,
and bind yourselves together with peace.
NOTE: Unity in
Spirit is that we are all born of the same Spirit;
that is the Spirit of God.
There are several kinds of people found
within the local church.
The non-believing Christian.
NOTE: They call
themselves and even think themselves as Christians
but have never accepted Jesus Christ as their
The Carnal Christian.
Has accepted Jesus as their Savior but not their
The Biblical Christian.
Have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord
and seek to serve Him in every aspect of their
B. UNITY IN MIND.
1 Corinthians 1:10
(NLT) Now, dear brothers and sisters, I
appeal to you by the authority of the Lord Jesus
Christ to stop arguing among yourselves. Let there
be real harmony so there won't be divisions in the
church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united
in thought and purpose.
NOTE: They see the
same vision and purpose of the Church.
Amos 3:3 (NLT)
Can two people walk together without agreeing on the
They may have different understanding of how
to fulfill the vision and purpose but the end
product is the same.
C. UNITY IS SERVICE.
Nehemiah 4:6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined
together unto the half thereof: for the people had a
mind to work.
We work together for the common good.
And it came to pass from that time forth, that the
half of my servants wrought in the work, and the
other half of them held both the spears, the
shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the
rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
They which builded on the wall, and they that
bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with
one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the
other hand held a weapon.
ILL: David at Ziklag.
1 Samuel 30
1 Samuel 30:24 (NIV)
Who will listen to what you say? The share of
the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the
same as that of him who went down to the battle. All
will share alike."
the marks of God’s Church is not always easy nor is
it always pleasant; there are times of suffering and
pain, but in the end it is well worth it.
Galatians 6:17 (NLT)
From now on, don't let anyone trouble me with
these things. For I bear on my body the scars that
show I belong to Jesus.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NLT)
I have fought a good fight, I have finished
the race, and I have remained faithful.
And now the prize awaits me—the crown of
righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge,
will give me on that great day of his return. And
the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly
look forward to his glorious return.
MARCH 8, 2009
“MY PRAYER FOR YOU”
SCRIPTURE READING: Ephesians 3:14-21
Ephesians 3:16-19 (NLT)
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you
mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I
pray that Christ will be more and more at home in
your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go
down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. And
may you have the power to understand, as all God's
people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how
deep his love really is. May you experience the love
of Christ, though it is so great you will
never fully understand it. Then you will be filled
with the fullness of life and power that comes from
There are many wonderful prayers found in the
The greatest prayers are the prayers of Jesus:
The Lord’s Prayer. Matthew 6:9-13
The Pray Jesus prayed for his disciples in the
His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Matthew 26:39, 42
Other great prayers:
Abraham’s prayer for Sodom and Gomorrah.
Moses’ several prayers for Israel.
David’s many prayers.
Elijah’s prayer for fire. I Kings 18
Next to Jesus’ prayers I
feel this prayer of Paul’s is one the greatest,
because it is one that we all can use as a guideline
to prayer for one another.
This prayer is divided into
THAT GOD WOULD STRENGTHEN YOU BY HIS SPIRIT.
Ephesians 3:16 (NLT)
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you
mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.
We are in a spiritual warfare and we are unable to
fight the enemy of our souls by our own strength or
Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)
For we are not fighting against people made of
flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and
authorities of the unseen world, against those
mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and
against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 (NIV)
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war
as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not
the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have
divine power to demolish strongholds.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy
Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses
unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in
Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
THAT CHRIST MIGHT DWELL IN YOUR HEART BY
Ephesians 3:17a (NLT) And I
pray that Christ will be more and more at home in
your hearts as you trust in him...
There are two parts to this portion:
That Christ would dwell in your heart.
There are many who only have head knowledge of
Christ and not a heart experience through faith.
The longer He dwells in your heart the
greater your faith would be.
That their lives would be directed by their
faith in God:
Their faith in Who God is.
Their Faith in what He can do.
ILL: Like a
marriage where the husband and wife are separated by
distance and they fail to communicate with each
III. THAT YOU WOULD BE
GROUNDED IN LOVE.
Ephesians 3:17b (NLT) … May
your roots go down deep into the soil of God's
This is talking about the foundation of you faith.
What is you faith founded on?
There are many false foundations:
Our faith must be grounded in the truth that
God loves us.
1 Corinthians 3:11
(NLT) For no one can lay any other foundation
than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.
The greatest example of God’s love in found
in Jesus Christ.
John 3:16-17 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. For God sent
not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but
that the world through him might be saved.
1 John 4:16 (NLT)
We know how much God loves us, and we have put
our trust in him.
God is love, and all who live in love live in
God, and God lives in them.
1 John 4:18 (NLT)
Such love has no fear because perfect love expels
all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of
judgment, and this shows that his love has not been
perfected in us.
IV. THAT YOU UNDERSTAND
THE LOVE OF GOD.
Ephesians 3:18-19a (NLT) And may you have the
power to understand, as all God's people should, how
wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love
really is. May you experience the love of Christ,
though it is so great you will never fully
NOTE: The more you
experience the Love of God the greater is your
desire for and deeper experience in Him.
ILL: Like Ezekiel’s
waters in Ezekiel 47:1-5
My prayer is that your hearts and minds might be
hungering and thirsting for a deeper knowledge and
experiences in Christ.
Psalm 42:1 (NLT)
As the deer pants for streams of water, so I long
for you, O God.
THAT YOU MIGHT BE FILLED WITH THE FULLNESS OF
you will be filled with the fullness of life and
power that comes from God.
Philippians 3:10-15 (NLT)
As a result, I can really know Christ and
experience the mighty power that raised him from the
dead. I can learn what it means to suffer with him,
sharing in his death,
so that, somehow, I can experience the
resurrection from the dead!
don't mean to say that I have already achieved these
things or that I have already reached perfection!
But I keep working toward that day when I will
finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and
wants me to be.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not
all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies
on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking
forward to what lies ahead,  I strain to reach
the end of the race and receive the prize for which
God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to
hope all of you who are mature Christians will agree
on these things. If you disagree on some point, I
believe God will make it plain to you.
NOTE: That you might live a victorious Christian life.
James 4:7 Submit
yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and
he will flee from you.
CONCLUSION: I would like to challenge each of us to use this
prayer as a guideline as we pray for one another as
well as ourselves.
MARCH 15, 2009
“MERCY IS THE HOPE OF SINNERS
AND THE REFUGE OF SAINTS”
SCRIPTURE TEXT: Lamentations 3:22
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not
consumed, because his compassions fail not.
Jerusalem had fallen after being warned time and
again of the coming judgment because of their sin
God had sent many prophets to warn them of
the coming judgment but they refused to listen and
change their ways.
Today we are facing the same situation.
We are all facing the Day of Judgment for the
sins we have committed.
Hebrews 9:27 And
as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after
this the judgment:
I. DEATH AND JUDGMENT
AWAITS ALL SINNERS.
There is no way anyone can avoid either death or
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.
A. EVERYONE IS A SINNER AND WE
ALL FACE SIN’S JUDGMENT.
For there is not a just man upon earth, that
doeth good, and sinneth not.
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world,
and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men,
for that all have sinned:
Romans 6:23a For
the wages of sin is death…
Romans 3:23 For
all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
B. WE ARE INCAPABLE OF
REMOVING THE SIN FROM OUR LIVES.
NOTE: There are
those who think by their good works they can rid
themselves of sin.
There is a generation that are pure in their own
eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
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.
But God’s Word tells us that we cannot
Job 14:4 Who can
bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.
Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure
from my sin?
NOTE: There are
those who compare themselves against others.
2 Corinthians 10:12
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or
compare ourselves with some that commend themselves:
but they measuring themselves by themselves, and
comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
It is God’s righteousness that we must
compare ourselves to.
Matthew 5:20 For
I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall
exceed the righteousness of the scribes and
Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the
kingdom of heaven.
II. GOD’S MERCY IS THE
ONLY HOPE FOR SINNERS.
If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord,
who shall stand?
But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou
mayest be feared.
God has provided the only way that we can avoid the
judgment for our sins.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but
after this the judgment: 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
A. JESUS TOOK THE JUDGMENT FOR
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law,
being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed
is every one that hangeth on a tree:
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was
bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our
peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are
Therefore will I divide him a portion with the
great, and he shall divide the spoil with the
strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto
death: and he was numbered with the transgressors;
and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession
for the transgressors.
1 Peter 3:18
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the
just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God,
being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by
B. GOD’S MERCY IS EXTENDED TO
2 Peter 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.
God delights in being merciful to sinners.
Who is a God like you? You forgive sin
and overlook the rebellion of your faithful
You will not be angry forever, because you
would rather show mercy. You will again have
compassion on us. You will overcome our wrongdoing.
You will throw all our sins into the deep
God calls to sinners to
accept His mercy.
Cast away from you all your transgressions,
whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new
heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house
For I have no pleasure in the death of him
that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn
yourselves, and live ye.
Those who respond to His
call will be saved.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord
shall be saved.
III. GOD’S MERCY IS THE
REFUGE FOR SAINTS.
Psalm 57:1 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.
Psalm 62:8 Trust
in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart
before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Those who have put their trust in the mercy of God
have a shelter in which they can hide during the
time of judgment.
Isaiah 26:20-21 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers,
and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it
were for a little moment, until the indignation be
For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place
to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their
iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood,
and shall no more cover her slain.
Their sin had been taken
Psalm 103:12 As
far as the east is from the west, so far hath he
removed our transgressions from us.
NOTE: Because the
Blood of Jesus Christ has removed our sin we are no
longer facing judgment for our sin.
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first
resurrection: on such the second death hath no
power, but they shall be priests of God and of
Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not
consumed, because his compassions fail not.
Have you made God’s mercies your refuge place?
MARCH 22, 2009
“THE THOMAS TIMES OF LIFE”
SCRIPTURE READING: John
SCRIPTURE TEXT: John 20:25
other disciples therefore said unto him, “We have
seen the Lord”. But he said unto them, “Except I
shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and
put my finger into the print of the nails, and
thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
NOTE: Some people
are very critical of Thomas but I’m not one of them.
Most of us will experience a Thomas time in our
The Thomas times in our life comes when
everything falls apart and we wonder where God is.
In the book, “The Shack” a fathers questions
where was God when his little girt was adducted and
A sudden illness
The lost of a job
Death of a loved one
A broken relationship
When we do everything right and everything goes
I. OTHERS THAT HAVE HAD
THOMAS TIMES IN THEIR
NOTE: If anyone had
a right to have a Thomas time it was Job.
Job lost everything and his family suddenly and
seemly with reason.
Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and
backward, but I cannot perceive him: on the left
hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him:
he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot
NOTE: David’s early
life was filled with contradictions.
He sought to serve King
Saul, but King Saul sought to kill him.
He was anointed king yet he spent his time hiding
in the woods and caves.
Psalm 13:1-2 How
long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? Forever? How long
wilt thou hide thy face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine
enemy be exalted over me?
NOTE: Peter was
struggling under the burden of guilt and shame.
Some of the worst Thomas times come after we
John 21:2-3 There were
together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and
Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of
Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing.
They say unto him, we also go with thee. They went
forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that
night they caught nothing.
II. WHY DO WE EXPERIENCE
THESE TIMES OF DOUBT AND UNCERTAINTIES?
NOTE: Why do some
people seem to struggle with Thomas times more than
Our relationship with Christ is only a surface
Those who do not have a personal relationship with
Christ have very little to draw on in the Thomas
times of life.
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.
Lack of depth in our Christian walk
Those who struggle most often with doubt usually do
not have a deep relationship with Jesus.
But he that received the seed into stony places, the
same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy
Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth
for a while: for when tribulation or persecution
ariseth because of the word, by and by he is
Thomas was not with the other disciples when Jesus
first appeared unto them.
Maintaining worship and Christian fellowship
is very important in developing a deep relationship
ILL: Maintaining a
car. (pay me now or pay me later)
Romans 10:17 So
then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the
word of God.
When God does not do what we expected Him to do, we
often experience the Thomas times.
This is why the disciples struggled with their
The disciples had expected
Jesus to set up His kingdom now.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean
not unto thine own understanding.
We are relying on sight and feelings instead
All the disciples refused to believe in Jesus
resurrection until they saw Him.
Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God
revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The
just shall live by faith.
God is testing us
But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath
tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
Are we willing to trust God even when it seems He
is far from us.
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.
When everything is falling down around us,
where do we turn?
III. HOW DO WE HANDLE
THESE THOMAS TIMES OF LIFE?
NOTE: Life’s trials are not for God’s benefit but rather
It is during the Thomas times of our lives we
either grow stronger in our Christian walk or we
turn away from God.
Where we cannot trace we must learn to trust.
I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my
refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
Psalm 13:5-6 But
I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice
in thy salvation.
I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath
dealt bountifully with me.
We will experience great spiritual growth and
victory as we come through the Thomas times in our
John 20:28 And
Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my
MARCH 29, 2009
“HAVING A DIFFERENT MINDSET”
SCRIPTURE READING: Colossians 3:1-11
SCRIPTURE TEXT: Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Don't copy the behavior and customs of
this world, but let God transform you into a new
person by changing the way you think. Then you will
know what God wants you to do, and you will know how
good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.
INTRO: Have you
ever had to change your mind about someone or
Did the changing of your mind come too late?
ILL: Leisure suits.
One of the things that should happen to us
when we accept Christ as our Savior is that we have
a different mindset.
Since accepting Christ do you have a
different mindset about?
Your goals in life
What’s important or valuable
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are changed
into a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17
(NLT) What this means is that those who
become Christians become new persons. They are not
the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new
life has begun!
This must produce a different mindset, a
different way of thinking.
MINDSET WE MUST HAVE:
A. OUR MINDSET WILL BE
DIFFERENT THAN THE WORLD.
Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this
world, but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think. Then you will know
what God wants you to do, and you will know how good
and pleasing and perfect his will really is.
NOTE: Many things
of this world will turn our hearts away from
2 Timothy 4:10a
For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this
present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica;
Before coming to Christ we found our
satisfaction in the things of this world.
1 John 2:15 (NLT)
Stop loving this evil world and all that
it offers you, for when you love the world, you show
that you do not have the love of the Father in you.
Coming to Christ makes a change in our
behavior and in mindset towards the things of this
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
(NLT) Don't you know that those who do wrong
will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don't fool
yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are
idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes,
homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards,
abusers, and swindlers—none of these will have a
share in the Kingdom of God.
There was a time when some of you were just
like that, but now your sins have been washed away,
and you have been set apart for God. You have been
made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus
Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you.
We no longer find pleasure is sin.
We hate the things that God hates.
B. OUR MINDSET WILL BE ON
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things
which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right
hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on
things on the earth.
NOTE: The more we
seek and desire the things of this world the less we
seek and desire for the things of God.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will
hate the one, and love the other; or else he will
hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot
serve God and mammon.
NOTE: The word
despise means disesteem or hold
in lesser value.
Before we became a follower of Christ the
things of God held little or no interest to us.
Now the things of God are more important than
the thing of this world.
Psalm 119:140 Thy
word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after
righteousness: for they shall be filled.
We love the things that God loves.
1 John 2:17 And
the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he
that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
C. WE MUST HAVE THE MINDSET OF
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ
The mindset of Christ will give us a different
attitude about ourselves and about others.
Colossians 3:11 (NLT)
In this new life, it doesn't matter if you
are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or
uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or
free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in
all of us.
NOTE: As a
Christian we are not self-centered but rather
The Christian life is not all about us but
its all about Christ and how we can show the world
what Jesus is all about.
We do this by having the mindset of Christ.
Jesus came to serve not be
Mark 10:45 (NLT)
For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be
served but to serve others, and to give my life as a
ransom for many."
Philippians 2:3-4 (NLT)
Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good
impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others
as better than yourself. Don't think only about your
own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and
what they are doing.
Jesus came to do the will of the Father.
John 5:30 I can
of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and
my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own
will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
NOTE: We place the
will of God above our own desires.
Jesus came to seek and save
those that are lost.
Luke 19:10 (KJV)
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save
that which was lost.
NOTE: We must have
a different mindset about sinners.
We must seek their salvation instead of their
CONCLUSION: Let us
ask God to give us the right mindset that will
See more Sermons in the