ONALASKA FIRST CHURCH OF GOD

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

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FEBRUARY SERMONS

 FEBRUARY 7, 2010

 “SOULS IN PRISON

 

SCRIPTURE READING: PSALM 142

 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: PSALM 142:7

 

    Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

 

INTRO: Note the title of this Psalm; Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave.

   

   What had led up to this Psalm?

 

·        He had been anointed king. (Samuel 16:13)

·        He had slain Goliath. (I Samuel 17)

·        He had been made the leader of Israel’s army. (I Samuel 18:5)

·        He was running from King Saul who sought to kill him.  (I Samuel 19:1)

 

   David sought to be free from his prison in order to praise God as he longed to, and to fulfill God’s plan for his life.

 

   When our souls are in prison we are unable to praise God as we ought, and to fulfill God’s plan for our lives.

 

I. PRISONS OF OUR SOUL.

 

NOTE: Not all prisons have iron bars.

 

   David’s cave was his prison.

 

   James Gardner in “Support Your Local Sheriff.”

 

   Many people and even Christians are held in prison behind invisible bars.

 

   Bar-less Prisons:

 

·        Sin

·        Habits

·        Fear

·        Doubt & unbelief

·        Indifference

·        Bitterness

·        Unforgiveness (Toward others and to themselves)

·        Memories of the past

·        Despair

·        Self-Pity

·        Un-fulfilled expectations

·        Low self-esteem

 

 

II. THE AFFECTS OF PRISON LIFE.

 

Hebrews 12:1 (NLT) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.

 

NOTE: All these things can keep us in a prison without bars and hinder us from serving God as we ought.

 

1.      CONFINEMENT

 

Psalm 107:10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;

 

NOTE: As long as we are in prison we are unable to move about in the freedom of God’s grace.

 

2.      CONDEMNATION

 

NOTE: We live in self-condemnation.

 

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.

 

1 Kings 19:4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

 

3.      A FEELING OF HOPELESSNESS

 

Psalm 142:4 (NLT) I look for someone to come and help me,             but no one gives me a passing thought!  No one will help me;             no one cares a bit what happens to me.

 

III. SOULS SET FREE FROM PRISON

 

NOTE: Jesus came to free the soul from prison.

 

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

 

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

 

John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

 

Romans 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

 

Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

 

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

 

NOTE: Christ has set us free from any kind of prison but too often we fail to accept that He has either delivered us or someone else.

 

ILL: Peter in prison. Acts 12:1-19

Acts 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

 

Acts 12:15-16 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.

 

CONCLUSION: When Christ opens the prison doors of our life we must do two things:

 

1.  We must give Him the praise that is due Him.

 

Psalm 142:7b …that I may praise thy name…

NOTE: When we are held prisoner we can not praise God as we should.

 

   2. Make sure we never again enter into prison.

 

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

 

Psalm 56:13 For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

 

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 14, 2010 

WHO OR WHAT IS THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE?

 

SCRIPTURE READING: JOHN 21:15-22

 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: John 21:15

 

    So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

 

INTRO: Valentine Day is all about love.

 

   There is no great feeling than to love someone and be loved by someone.

 

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV) And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

   The question is not whether we love or not, for we all love something or someone, but what do we love more than anything or anyone else?

 

   Who or what is the most important person or thing in your life?

 

   Often times it is only when pushed into a corner that we consider what is most important in our lives.

 

   There are times when our value system is turned upside down.

 

   One of the things that Paths Out of Poverty is trying to teach us is how to evaluate our value system.

 

   When was the last time you evaluated your spiritual value system?

 

I. THINGS THAT CAN AFFECT OUR SPIRITUAL VALUE

   SYSTEM.

 

NOTE: Satan will use anything he can to cheapen our spiritual values.

 

   A. SIN.

 

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

 

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

 

Ecclesiastes 10:1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

 

   B. RICHES AND POSSESSIONS.

 

NOTE: Many Christians have allowed their love for God to be replaced with love for riches and possessions.

 

ILL: The Rich Young Ruler.  (Matthew 16:16-26)

 

Matthew 13:22 (NLT) 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: Are the things you posses in this world more important to you than your relationship with God.

 

Matthew 6:24 (NIV) "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

 

Matthew 6:32-33 (NLT) Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.

 

II. OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD MUST BE OUR NUMBER

    ONE PRIORITY.

 

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

 

NOTE: Too many are satisfied with just a casual relationship with God.

 

   We must not long for head knowledge of God but rather a heart-to-heart intimacy with Him.

 

ILL: A Test of Love

 

St. Augustine once preached a sermon in which he proposed a kind of self-test to see if we truly love God:

 

Suppose God proposed to you a deal and said, “I will give you anything you want.  You can possess the whole world.  Nothing will be impossible for you…Nothing will be a sin, nothing forbidden.  Your will never die, never have pain, never have anything you do not want and always have anything you do want – except for just one thing: you will never see my face.”

 

Augustine closed with a question:

 

Did a chill rise in your hearts, when you heard the words, “you will never see my face”?  That chill is the most precious thing in you; that is the pure love of God.

 

   A. LOVEST THOU ME MORE THAN THESE?

 

John 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

 

NOTE: Three times Peter denied Jesus, three times he fell asleep while Jesus prayed, three time Jesus ask him, “Do you love Me?”

 

   The question arises, what does Jesus mean by these?

 

   THESE:

 

              His fishing boat and occupation

              His fellow disciples

 

John 21:15 (GW) After they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than the other disciples do?"  Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."  Jesus told him, "Feed my lambs."

 

              Do you love me more than these other disciples?

 

   Regardless what the word these mean, the question remains, “Do you love me more than anything or anyone else.”

 

NOTE: At least five times we are told to love God more than anything or anyone else.

 

Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

 

Deuteronomy 6:5, Deuteronomy 11:1, Matthew 22:37 & Luke 10:27

 

NOTE: When we allow anything or anyone to come between our love for God then they become the idols we worship.

 

Jonah 2:8 (NIV) "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”

 

Jonah 2:8 (NLT) Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God's mercies.

 

CONCLUSION: There may come a day when our love for God will be tested and it is my prayer that my love and your love for God will supersede our love for anything or anyone else.

 

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 21, 2010

 SINGLENESS OF SIGHT

 

SCRIPTURE READING: MATTHEW 14:22-33

 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: Hebrews 12:2 (GW)

 

    We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him. Then he received the highest position in heaven, the one next to the throne of God.

 

INTRO: “What you see is what you get.”

 

   When you are plowing a field you must pick out a point ahead and keep you eyes on it if you want to make straight furls.

 

   In our Christian walk it is important that we have singleness of sight if we are to please God.

 

   This event is written in three of the four Gospels.

 

   Each Gospel sheds a little different light.

 

   Often times to get a clearer understand of what God is trying to teach us though His Word, we must consider the setting of the event we are trying to comprehend.

 

   Three things happen that sent this event into action:

 

·        Jesus had revived the news of John the Baptist death.  Matthew 14:13 (NLT) As soon as Jesus heard the news, he went off by himself in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed by land from many villages.

·        He had just fed 5,000 men plus women and children. Matthew 14:19-21 (NLT) Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. And he took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and asked God's blessing on the food. Breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave some of the bread and fish to each disciple, and the disciples gave them to the people.  They all ate as much as they wanted, and they picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. About five thousand men had eaten from those five loaves, in addition to all the women and children!

·        The people wanted to make Jesus king. John 6:14-15     Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, “This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.”  When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

 

I. WHY WAS THE DISCIPLE IN THE MIDST OF A STORM?

 

   A. THEY WERE IN A STORM BECAUSE JESUS SENT THEM.

 

Matthew 14:22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.

 

NOTE: Through-out the Word of God we see many giants of the Faith facing storms in their lives.

 

   We experience storms in our lives even though we are Christians.  Why?

 

·        Each storm we face and overcome makes us stronger.

 

James 1:2-4 (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

 

·        The people wanted to make Jesus king of their natural world.

 

John 6:14-15 (NLT) When the people saw this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, "Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!"  Jesus saw that they were ready to take him by force and make him king, so he went higher into the hills alone.

 

   They were only concerned with a natural kingdom.

 

·        The disciples could have been easily swayed to follow the crowd.

·        This was another temptation from Satan to avoid the cross.

 

II. WHERE WAS JESUS DURING THE STORM?

 

Mark 6:46-48 (NLT) Afterward he went up into the hills by himself to pray.  During the night, the disciples were in their boat out in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land.  He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o'clock in the morning he came to them, walking on the water. He started to go past them,

 

   A. HE WAS PHYSICALLY SEPARATED FROM THE

       DISCIPLES.

 

NOTE: When you are going through a storm do you long for the physical presence of Jesus?

 

   Don’t you think the disciples questions why Jesus wasn’t with them?

   Do we cry out, “Jesus where are you” when we are the midst of a storm?

 

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.

 

Mark 4:38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

 

   B. HE WAS PRAYING

 

NOTE: Even though Jesus may not be with us physically He is praying for us.

 

Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

 

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

 

   C. HE WAS WATCHING

 

Mark 6:48a (NLT) He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves…

 

   D. HE WAS COMING

 

Mark 6:48b (NLT) About three o'clock in the morning he came to them, walking on the water. He started to go past them,

III. HOW DID THE DISCIPLES REACT?

 

NOTE: How do we react when storms come into our lives?

 

Matthew 14:26 (NLT) When the disciples saw him, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost.

 

NOTE: Often times when we are experiencing storms we fail to recognize that it is God Who is there and we cry out in fear.

 

   When we are faced with circumstances beyond our control we should not be discourage but put our trust in God.

 

Psalm 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. (Psalm 42:11, Psalm 43:5)

 

   A. PETER WANTED PROOF IT WAS JESUS.

 

Matthew 14:28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And he said, Come.

 

   B. PETER TOOK A STEP OF FAITH.

 

Matthew 14:29 And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 

 

   C. PETER FAILED TO WALK IN SINGLENESS OF SIGHT.

 

Matthew 14:30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 

 

Luke 11:34-36 (NLT) Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul. But an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness.  Make sure that the light you think you have is not really darkness.  If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight is shining on you."

 

NOTE: When we take our eyes off Jesus and begin to look at the circumstances (either good or bad) that surround us, our eyes sight becomes darken.  The more we look the darker it becomes.

 

   D. PETER TURNED BACK TO JESUS.

 

Matthew 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

 

CONCLUSION: Even though we may take our eyes off Jesus in the midst of a storm, all we need to do is look back to Him.

 

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 28, 2010

 THE APPLE OF THE EYE

 

SCRIPTURE READING: PSALM 17:1-9

 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: Psalm 17:8 (NIV)

 

    Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings

 

INTRO: What is your most prize possession?

 

   How far would you go to protect you most prize possession?

 

   How important do you think you are to God?

 

   This is one of the many prayers of David found in the book of Psalm.

 

   We do not know the setting of this Psalm but we do know the condition in which it was prayed.

 

   David was in trouble; David is seeking God’s help to protect him against those who wish to destroy him.

 

   David asked God to do two things from him:

 

1.      Keep him as the apple of the eye

2.      Hide him under his wings

 

   We may not be surrounded as David was with physical enemies but we are under attack from the enemy of our soul and we too can ask God the same request.

 

I. WE ARE THE APPLE OF GOD’S EYE.

 

NOTE: Just was does David mean when he said, “Keep me as the Apple of thine eye.”

 

   Of our five senses, eye sight is probably the one we hold most precious.

 

   He was under attack from all sides and he wanted to remind God how precious he was to God.

 

              A. WE ARE PRECIOUS TO GOD.

 

NOTE: We are so precious to God that He sought us while we were still in our sins.

 

Deuteronomy 32:10 (NLT) "He found them in a desert land, in an empty, howling wasteland. He surrounded them and watched over them; he guarded them as his most precious possession.

 

[Deuteronomy 32:10 (KJV) He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.]

 

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

 

1 Peter 1:19 (NLT) He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.

 

              B. HE WILL DELIVER US IN TIMES OF TROUBLE

                 BECAUSE WE ARE PRECIOUS TO HIM.

 

Psalm 72:14 (NLT) He will save them from oppression and from violence, for their lives are precious to him.

 

              C. HIS THOUGHTS TOWARDS US ARE PRECIOUS.

 

Psalm 139:17 (NLT) How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable!

 

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

 

              D. IT BREAKS GOD’S HEART WHEN WE ALLOW SIN

                 TO DEFEAT US.

 

Jeremiah 14:17 (NLT) "Now, Jeremiah, say this to them: 'Night and day my eyes overflow with tears. I cannot stop weeping, for my virgin daughter—my precious people—has been run through with a sword and lies mortally wounded on the ground.

 

              E. WE ARE GOD’S MOST PRECIOUS POSSESSION.

 

Zechariah 2:8 (NLT) "After a period of glory, the Lord Almighty sent me against the nations who oppressed you. For he said, 'Anyone who harms you harms my most precious possession.

 

[Zechariah 2:8 (KJV) For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.]

 

II. WE CAN FIND SHELTER UNDER HIS WINGS.

 

NOTE: When you are facing difficult situations, is there someplace you long to go to get away.

 

   God longs for us to come to Him during these difficult experiences.

 

Psalm 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

 

   God will hide us in His tabernacle of His presence.

 

Psalm 31:20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

 

Psalm 32:7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

 

NEAR TO THE HEART OF GOD

 

CCLI Song No. 3276383

© 2001 Word Music, LLC (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)

CCLI License No. 3015254

 

Chorus 1

O Jesus blest Redeemer Sent from the heart of God

Hold us who wait before Thee Near to the heart of God

 

Verse 1

There is a place of quiet rest Near to the heart of God

A place where sin cannot molest Near to the heart of God

 

Verse 2

There is a place of comfort sweet Near to the heart of God

A place where we our Savior meet Near to the heart of God

 

Verse 3

There is a place of full release Near to the heart of God

A place where all is joy and peace Near to the heart of God

 

NOTE: God will give us songs in the midst of our circumstances.

 

ILL: Paul & Silas in prison

 

Acts 16:25 (NIV) About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

 

   People are watching how we react when we are faced with difficulties.

 

Psalm 64:2 Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:

 

   When Satan seeks to plan our destructions God will hide us from his plans.

 

Psalm 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

 

   God’s Word is a place of safety and assurance, and we can find a hiding place in the promises of His Word.

 

Psalm 143:9 Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.

 

CONCLUSION: In the sight of God we are all precious and He longs to bless us and keep us safe, but not everyone will allow Him to do so.

 

Luke 13:34 (GW) "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you kill the prophets and stone to death those sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings! But you were not willing!

 

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