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SCRIPTURE TEXT: 1 John 3:1-3


    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.


INTRO: As a young boy growing up in a home without a father, I was always looking for some one to be my father.


ILL: Who’s Your Daddy?


   It is wonderful to know who our earthly father is but it is far great to know that we are a child of the King.


   There are several important points that are found in this passage.


1.   We are a child of God

2.   The world does not understand us

3.   We are going through a process




Romans 8:14-16 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:


NOTE: Being a child of God has many advantages.


ILL: When Ken Griffey Jr. was a young boy.


              A. GOD LOVES US.


·       God loved us before we loved Him.


1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.


·       God loved us before we were capable to love Him.


Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.


·       God loved us while we were unworthy of His love.


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


              B. KID’S PRIVILEGES.


Luke 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:


·       The robe of Christ’s righteousness.


NOTE: When we come to Christ we come clothed in the rags of self-righteousness.


Zechariah 3:3-5 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.  And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.  And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by.


2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.


·       The ring of authority.


NOTE: God gives His kids authority over Satan and sin.


Genesis 41:40-42 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.  And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.  And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;

John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.


John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.


·       The shoes of sonship.


NOTE: Slaves went barefoot. Thus, we have here a threefold symbol of freedom and honor, restored, as the fruit of perfect reconciliation.[1]


              C. THE KID’S INHERITANCE.


Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.




NOTE: The world did not understand Jesus nor did they accept Him.


John 1:10-12 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:


   Those of the world cannot understand why a Christian seeks to live that life that different from the world.


1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.


John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.




1 John 3:2 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.


NOTE: We must not get impatient with our spiritual growth.


James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.


James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.


Psalm 17:15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.


NOTE: We cannot become lackadaisical in our spiritual growth.


1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.


   Living a Christian life is a work in progress and it takes true commitment.


Philippians 3:12-14 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.


CONCLUSION: The only gift a father could give to his son when he left for college was his name. 


   How does the chose’s we make reflect on God’s Name?







SCRIPTURE TEXT: Philippians 3:10 (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,


INTRO: There are many people who try to rely on their religiosity instead of experiencing personal relationship with Christ.


   They want to know about Christ but they have no desire to know Him in a deep and intimate way.


   There was a song back in the fifties that every time I hear it I sing the first few lines for Jesus.


To know know know him, Is to love love love him, Just to see him smile, Makes my life worthwhile, To know know know him, Is to love love love him, And I do.


   Paul had one consuming desire, and that was to know Jesus better than he already did.


   Do you have a strong desire to know Jesus more than you do now?


   It is the desire of Jesus that we might know God better.


John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.


   The better we know Jesus the more we will love Him.


   The more we love Jesus the less we will love other things.


   There are three steps to knowing Jesus better:




Jeremiah 9:24 (NLT) Let them boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who is just and righteous, whose love is unfailing, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!

NOTE: By reading God’s Word we can begin to develop a knowledge base of Who He is and His attributes.


2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


   We must not just read God’s Word; we must study it and allow it to become a part of us.


Jeremiah 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.


   It is through the knowledge of God’s Word that we can discern His will for our lives.


Colossians 1:9-10 (NLT) So we have continued praying for you ever since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what he wants to do in your lives, and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and you will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while, you will learn to know God better and better.




NOTE: As studying God’s Word will give us knowledge of Who He is and what He has done, it is through prayer that we can begin to develop an intimate relationship with Him.


   It is through prayer that we can communicate with God and He can communicate with us.


   When we read and study God’s Word we must do it in an attitude of prayer so we can discern what His Word is teaching us.


   There are at least six parts of prayer that we should practice daily.


1.   Praise


   We need to praise Him for Whom He is.


Psalm 67:3 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.


Isaiah 42:12 Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare his praise in the islands.


Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.


2.   Thanksgiving


   We need to thank Him for what He has done.


Psalm 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.


NOTE: We often forget the first two and begin with number 3 or 4.


3.   Intercession


   We need to seek for the needs of others


Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.


4.   Petition


   Asking for our own needs


Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:


5.   Adoration


   Telling God how much we love Him


Psalm 42:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.


Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.


Psalm 84:2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.


Psalm 116:1 I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.


6.   Listening


   This may be the most difficult and yet the most necessary part of prayer.


   Have you ever been involved in conversation with someone who didn’t allow you to get in a word edgewise?




NOTE: It is of vital importance that we gather together with others in worshiping God.


   99% of us would much rather watch a ballgame, listen to a concert, or go to a class with others than to do it by ourselves.


   Those who claim they don’t need to go to church will never develop into the Christian God wants them to be.


   We are shortchanging ourselves and others when we fail to gather with others to worship God.

Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.


NOTE: If we truly love God, coming to His house to worship will be a pleasure and not drudgery.


Hebrews 10:24-25 (GW) We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.


NOTE: God is a God of variety; He doesn’t reveal Himself to everyone the same way.


   As we share with one another our experiences with God, we gain a greater understanding of Him.


   The more we know who God is and what He has done, our love for Him will grow.


CONCLUSION: Let us spend more time reading and study God Word, praying and worshiping together with fellow believers.







SCRIPTURE TEXT: 2 Chronicles 7:14


   If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.


INTRO: What made the difference between King Saul sinning (I Samuel 15) and King David sinning (2 Samuel 11)?


Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.


ILL: Helping fix a flat tire & Bill Gates’ gifts.


   We are all held under the power of sin and wrong.


   Sin against God and the wrong we do towards one another.


   There is only one thing that we have the power to do that will set us free.


   The starting line to enjoy proper relationship with God and others is Repentance.


   Jesus began His ministry with the call to repentance.


Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.


   Without repentance we cannot live in the kingdom of heaven.


   God has provided salvation through His Son Jesus but the only way we can experience it is by repenting.


NOTE: Repentance is the hammer that breaks the power of guilt and salves our wounded soul with forgiveness.


   Repentance is a matter of choice.


   We can choose to repent and allow its power to reign in our lives or we can refuse to repent and live under the domination of sin and wrong.




NOTE: There is a false repentance.


   Sorry I got caught.


   False repentance does not produce the desire or determination to keep from doing it again.


   Sometime getting caught will produce true repentance as it did with David.




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.


   Until we repent for our sins, salvation is like a gift left unopened.




Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;


NOTE: Before we repented we were under the curse of judgment.


1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.


   Repentance places our trust in the blood of Jesus Christ instead of the dead works of man.


Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?


   Repentance brought a cleansing that makes us fit to be used by God.


2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.



   Repentance brings us into a peaceful relationship with God.


Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:




Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


NOTE: The oppression of guilt will cause us to react in a way that is often negative.


·       We become defensive

·       We become fearful

·       We often withdraw

·       We can react in anger for no reason




NOTE: Sin separates, whether it is sin against God, or a wrong done against another.


Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:  But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.


   Until repentance comes there is a barrier that blocks us from experiencing proper relationship.




Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.


   God is more concerned about those who need repentances than those who do not.


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.




Luke 13:2-5 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.


Acts 3:19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,


NOTE: There can be no salvation without repentance.




1 John 2:1-2 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.


   We as followers of Christ should not sin, but when we do we must confess and repent of our sins in order that they be forgiven.




NOTE: We as Christians need to repent for the sins of our nation.


Nehemiah 1:6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.


Jeremiah 14:7 O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name's sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee.


CONCLUSION: Let us repent and live in the victory the God has for us.









    But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.


INTRO: Most of us, when we think of Mary and Martha, think of the time Jesus came and Martha spent her time and energy fixing food for Jesus and His disciples, while Mary sat at His feet. 

Luke 10: 38-42


   The account in John 11 paints a different picture of Maratha.


   The Black Hole[2]


   Most all of us have experienced times when we feel that God has let us down.


      We experience these times when:


·       When we believe that God has not answered our request.

·       When God does not answered our requests as we envision.

·       When God does not answered our requests in the time frame we think He should.


   Such it was with Martha and Mary when the sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick,




John 11:1-3, 5-6 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.  (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick … Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.


NOTE: God does not always work according to our plans.


   It is God’s plan not ours that must prevail.


·       Jesus could have said the word and healed Lazarus from where He was.

·       They expected Jesus to be concerned about Lazarus’ enough to come, but He didn’t.

·       They expected Jesus to heal Lazarus, but Jesus didn’t heal Lazarus.

·       They expected Jesus to come immediately but He came four days after Lazarus’ death.


   Think of the turmoil that must have gone through their minds as they watch their brother die and Jesus didn’t come.


   They could have easily questions Jesus love.


   All though we may not understand God’s methods or time table, we can still put our trust in His love.




John 11:4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.


John 11:15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.


   God had a plan that would accomplish several things:


·       It would place Martha and Mary in a situation that only God would deliver them from.


NOTE: Had He just healed Lazarus there would have been those who would have said, Lazarus was already getting better.


·       It would teach great lessons


o      That time is not an issue with God.

o      That God has power over life and death.

o      When there seems to be no hope, there is God.

o      It would bring glory to God.


·       That they might believe in Who He is and what He can do.


NOTE: What we truly believe about God is revealed in the darkest hours.




John 11:20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.


NOTE: It was Martha not Mary that ran to Jesus.


   We may not understand the purpose of our circumstances until we see Jesus face to face.




John 11:21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.




John 11:24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.





John 11:39-40 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.  Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?


NOTE: God’s plan is fulfilled when we believe and obey.


   Faith and obedience goes hand in hand.  It takes faith to be obedient and sometimes it takes obedient to choose faith.


   Waiting four days made Jesus late for a healing, but right on time for a resurrection.


NOTE: There is a pattern that is often found in the life of a Christian.


·       Tragedy

·       Darkness

·       Triumph


CONCLUSION: The shortest verse in the Bible can be a source of great strength to us.


John 11:35 Jesus wept.


   Whatever we may be going though we can find strength in knowing that God is watching over us and that He is touched by the circumstances we are in.


Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 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.  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

[1] Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary


[2] The Black Hole
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman
Friday, March 26 2010


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